ARLINGTON, Va. – Ship owners have turned down a Navy offer to escort oil tankers from Cyprus to Lebanon, according to U.S. officials.
The Iwo Jima Strike Group and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit have been operating in the Mediterranean to evacuate Americans out of Lebanon and help bring some relief supplies in.
The ships operating in the region include the destroyers USS Cole and USS Barry, according to the Defense Department.
But a joint U.S.-Lebanese effort to deliver oil to Lebanon has been unsuccessful so far because the owners of two oil tankers, the Aphrodite and the Torm Gunhild, have refused to allow their ships to go to Lebanon despite the Navy’s offer of an escort, U.S. officials said.
There is currently no schedule for U.S. warships to escort tankers to Lebanon.