The Gulf Muscle Flexing, Bombs Away

Muscle Flexing, Bombs Away

The conflict in the Persian Gulf is sometimes called the tanker war, and last week's skirmishes showed why. In a nighttime raid, Iraqi warplanes bombed several Iranian tankers near Kharg Island. A day later an Iranian gunboat hurled nearly a score of rocket-propelled grenades at a U.S.-operated Liberian tanker off the Kuwaiti coast; no casualties were reported. The attacks followed a bout of muscle flexing between the U.S. and Iran. Soon after Iran tested a Chinese-made Silkworm missile at the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. Navy held its own drill, launching planes from a carrier in the Gulf of Oman.

A...