Iranians fired missile at US drone prior to tanker attack, US official says – CNNPolitics

In the hours before the attack on the two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, the Iranians spotted a US drone flying overhead and launched a surface-to-air missile at the unmanned aircraft, a US official told CNN.

Source: Iranians fired missile at US drone prior to tanker attack, US official says – CNNPolitics

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New Elections Set In Israel After Netanyahu Fails To Form Coalition Government : NPR

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party pushed for new elections in September rather than risk allowing Israel’s ceremonial president to choose someone else to form a government.

Voters in Israel will go the polls for the second time this year after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu missed a midnight deadline to form a coalition government.

The Israeli parliament, prompted by Netanyahu, has voted to hold new elections Sept. 17. The move comes after elections were just held in April and appeared to give Netanyahu a fourth consecutive term in office.

The Knesset voted 74-45, on a bill sponsored by Netanyahu’s Likud party, to dissolve itself and call for new elections.

Had Netanyahu not prompted the call for new elections, Israel’s ceremonial president could have chosen someone else to try to form a government.

The call for new elections is a surprising turn of events for Netanyahu who is widely considered Israel’s most powerful politician.

Source: New Elections Set In Israel After Netanyahu Fails To Form Coalition Government : NPR

Trump Intends To Deploy 1,500 Troops To The Middle East : NPR

President Trump has ordered some 1,500 troops to the Gulf region to serve a “mostly protective” purpose for American forces and interests.

Trump made the announcement to reporters on the White House lawn before boarding Marine One.

In a Pentagon briefing on Friday, Vice Adm. Michael Gilday, the director of the Joint Staff, would not say where the additional troops would be sent, other than that they would not be heading to Iraq and Syria.

Source: Trump Intends To Deploy 1,500 Troops To The Middle East : NPR

Oil prices jump after Saudi Arabia reports drone attack on pumping stations – CNN

New York (CNN Business)Oil prices climbed on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia reported “armed drones” attacked two pumping stations in the kingdom, underscoring rising tensions in the Middle East.

US oil prices rose 1.4% even though Saudi Aramco told CNN that the attack caused “no damage to oil production, no oil spills or injuries.” Brent crude, the global benchmark, jumped 1.6%.
The Saudi Energy Ministry told the kingdom’s state-run press agency that the attack caused a fire that has since been contained.
The apparent drone attack comes just a day after Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.
Normally such threats to the Middle East’s oil supplies would have a more pronounced impact to oil prices. But the gains have been muted by global fears about the deepening US-China trade war.

Source: Oil prices jump after Saudi Arabia reports drone attack on pumping stations – CNN

Two Saudi oil tankers ‘sabotaged’ in the Gulf – BBC News

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Two Saudi oil tankers were the targets of a “sabotage attack” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister says.

The incident near Fujairah port, in the Gulf just outside the Strait of Hormuz, caused “significant damage” to the ships, according to Khalid al-Falih.

The UAE said four ships were targeted, but that there were no casualties.

Iran, which borders the strait, called the incident “worrisome and dreadful” and called for a full investigation.

It is not known who carried out the alleged attack, which comes amid heightened tension in the area.

Source: Two Saudi oil tankers ‘sabotaged’ in the Gulf – BBC News

Taliban rejects calls for Ramadan truce in Afghanistan – BBC News

A traditional council, or loya jirga, made the proposal as it meets to discuss peace in Kabul.

The grand assembly is meeting in Kabul this week to discuss peace and called for an immediate ceasefire between the government and militants.

President Ashraf Ghani agreed to a truce provided it was not “one-sided”.

But the Taliban rejected the call and accused members of being government allies.

In 2018 the Taliban agreed a three-day ceasefire coinciding with Eid at the end of the holy month of Ramadan – their first since the 2001 US-led invasion.

Speaking at the meeting of the loya jirga – a grand tribal council attended by 3,200 religious leaders, politicians and representatives from across the country – Mr Ghani said: “Let us prove that only Western countries cannot solve this conflict. There is also human civilisation here.”

Source: Taliban rejects calls for Ramadan truce in Afghanistan – BBC News