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US Naval Carrier Group Sails Through Strait of Hormuz

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, left, the air-defense destroyer HMS Defender and the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut transit the Strait of Hormuz in this Nov. 19, 2019, photo made available by U.S. Navy.

A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group sailed through the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf region.

It was the first time a U.S. carrier group passed through the vital waterway since Iran's June downing of a U.S. drone in the area.

A statement by the U.S. Navy said the carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sailed through the strait without incident.

A Pentagon official who spoke on condition of anonymity said exchanges between U.S. and Iranian forces were "safe and professional."

Tensions in the gulf have escalated since attacks last summer on oil tankers in the area and on energy facilities in Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. has blamed Iran for the attacks, an accusation Iran has denied.

About one-fifth of the world's oil passes through the strait.

With its advanced military, Iran controls many of the shipping lanes through the strait.

Iran has threatened to close the strait if its adversaries, such as the U.S., commit hostile acts.

The last time a U.S. aircraft carrier transited through the waterway was in April, the Pentagon said.