News In Brief

Iran, Iraq trade blows against Gulf shipping

Iraq said Thursday its warplanes struck two oil tankers with missiles near Iran's Kharg Island terminal. The US State Department said Iran retaliated a few hours later by striking the Chemical Venture, a Liberian-registered tanker.

Iraq has vowed to destroy the oil terminal at Kharg Island, Iran's biggest, and step up its attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf.

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In Tehran, informed sources said Syria and Iran have agreed on the need to prevent the Gulf war from spreading to other countries in the region but still have to find a way of deescalating the crisis.

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