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Syria urges 'restraint' as US-Iran tensions soar

Syria called Friday on all parties to exercise "restraint" in the Gulf as its ally Iran comes under mounting pressure from the United States, state media said.

"The Syrian government calls on all sides to exercise restraint because escalating tensions in the Gulf would not benefit countries in the region," state news agency SANA quoted a foreign ministry source as saying.

"Dialogue... would undoubtedly reduce tensions and would ensure stability, security and peace," the source said.

Washington has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf citing alleged threats from Tehran.

The ministry source underlined Syria's rejection of any attempt to disrupt Gulf shipping, after four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, were damaged in still unexplained sabotage attacks in the nearby Sea of Oman on Sunday.

Iran's region rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have invited France, Norway and the United States to join an inquiry into the attacks, which Tehran has called "alarming and regrettable".