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US warships no longer accompanying commercial ships in Gulf

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says that U.S. Navy warships are no longer accompanying American and British-flagged commercial vessels through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, says the order to accompany the vessels through the narrow strait along Iranian territorial waters expired Tuesday. Warships began accompanying the commercial ships last Thursday, two days after Iranian naval vessels detained a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship and its crew.

Warren says there have been no other incidents. He says the U.S. warships remain in the area and will respond to any requests for assistance.

Iran officials have said the MV Maersk Tigris likely will be released in two days after a fine is paid.

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