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A tanker at the oil terminal of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia said Monday 2 of its oil tankers sustained "significant damage" in sabotage attacks near the coast of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, as 1 was on its way to pick up oil for the U.S.

Why it matters: The U.S. had warned that "Iran or its proxies" could target vessels in the region. The UAE said Sunday 4 commercial vessels were targeted by "sabotage operations" near its territorial waters, per Reuters. The U.S. says it's deploying forces including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter Iranian threats.

The big picture: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled the Moscow leg of his Russia trip to instead hold talks in Brussels with European officials on Iran Monday, Reuters reported, citing a State Department official. He's due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Black Sea resort of Sochi Tuesday, according to Reuters.

What he's saying: Pompeo told CNBC in an interview broadcast Monday, "In the event that Iran decided to come after an American interest — whether that be in Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen or any place in the Middle East — we are prepared to respond in an appropriate way."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The other side: An Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander said a U.S. military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat, but now "it is a target and the threats have switched to opportunities," the Iranian Students' News Agency reported. Iran’s foreign ministry warned against "any conspiracy orchestrated by ill-wishers" over the sabotaged ships.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 54 mins ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.