The Gulf Silkworm's Sting

Two tankers are hit by missiles, prompting talk of U.S. retaliation

Dawn was just breaking over the Kuwaiti coast last Friday when the sleek missile came hurtling over the horizon. A crewman aboard the Sea Isle City, a Kuwaiti-owned tanker flying the U.S. flag, peered out the window of the bridge and saw it coming. "It looked like an oxygen tank and was smoking in the rear," he recalled later. "I told the captain 'Look!,' but it was too late." Seconds later the missile slammed into the ship. The warhead exploded in the officers' quarters of the vessel, which two days earlier had left behind its escort of U.S. warships in the...

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