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On 19 October 1987, a radio warning was issued by the US naval forces of the attack, with the information to personnel on the platform that firing would begin in 20 minutes.
At 1400 hours, the US vessels began their attack using 5-inch guns, the largest naval artillery in the Persian Gulf at the time.
When Iranian forces hit the reflagged tanker Sea Isle City in October 1987, Washington retaliated by destroying an oil platform in the Rostam field and by using the United States Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) commandos to blow up a second one nearby.
Within a few weeks of the Stark incident, Iraq resumed its raids on tankers but moved its attacks farther south, near the Strait of Hormuz.
The Soviet Union responded first, agreeing to charter several Soviet tankers to Kuwait in early 1987. On , an Iraqi attack aircraft fired two Exocet missiles, killing 37 sailors and wounding 21 others aboard USS Stark (FFG 31).
Washington, which has been approached first by Kuwait and which had postponed its decision, eventually followed Moscow’s lead. Iraq apologized, claiming “pilot error.” Ironically, Washington used the Stark incident to blame Iran for escalating the war and sent its own ships to the Gulf to escort eleven Kuwaiti tankers that were “reflagged” with the American flag and had American crews.
The article alleged that “Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans” would not be allowed to enter the Gulf state “while the blanket ban is in place”.
This resulted in the complete stoppage of oil production from the underlying oilfields.
In statements made after the incident, the United States justified the attack as a “lawful exercise of the right of self-defense”, and as a “measured response” to an alleged Iranian attack against the reflagged Kuwaiti tanker Sea Isle City said to have been launched from the Fao Peninsula along the northern stretches of the Persian Gulf.
During the very first escort mission, a mine ripped into the re-flagged supertanker Bridgeton. forces captured the Iranian minelayer Iran Ajr while it was deploying mines in international shipping lanes and U. helicopters repelled an attack by Iranian speedboats. The Resalat and Reshadat platforms are located in the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the Islamic Republic.
That first month, three tankers hit mines and minesweeping operations by Navy helicopters began. They form part of a larger series of oil installations involving more than 100 producing wells and platforms essential to the Iranian commercial oil industry.