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Fire on US warship still burning as Iran warns of ‘tough days’ for America, Israel

US Navy helicopters continue fighting a fire on the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego, in San Diego, California, US, on July 13, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

US firefighters are still battling the blaze through a fourth day from the air, land and water to save an American warship off California's coast as the number of sailors and civilians injured in the blaze has risen.

Helicopters have made more than 1,500 water drops to tame the flame onboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, which has been burning since Sunday morning at US Naval Base San Diego, the US Navy said in a statement on Wednesday.

Scores of American sailors and civilians have been injured in the massive fire and a large explosion accompanying it.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but some reports said it broke out in a part of the ship where cardboard boxes were stored.

The origins of the massive blast that shook the ship some two hours after the blaze remain unknown as well.

“Going forward, the Navy will do a thorough investigation of the incident, to assess the cause of the fire [and] damage to the ship,” said Sobeck, the commander of USN Expeditionary Strike Group Three.

“But right now ... my focus and our focus remains putting the fire out and keeping our ship base safe.”

Asked whether the ship might be burned beyond repair, Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck said he was "hopeful" it could be spared.

The 22-year-old USS Bonhomme Richard, the Navy’s nine big-deck amphibious assault warships, is designed to carry US Marine Corps attack helicopters and ground troops into battle. The vessel was stationed in Japan for years before being transferred back to San Diego for a major overhaul in 2018.

Iran: Tough days await America, Israel

As the US warship is still engulfed in flames, a top commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said the incident has been the result of the US government’s own crimes.

Brigadier General Esmail Qa’ani, commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC urged the Americans “not to waste their time looking for a culprit or leveling accusations against others” over what happened to the navy ship off San Diego.

“This is a fire they (Americans) have lit themselves,” he said.

“This incident is a response to your crimes, which has come about at the hands of your own elements. God uses your own hands to punish you.”

What is unfolding in the US today, especially the warship incident “is the [direct] result of the US administration’s [own] action, behavior, and atrocities,” the general noted.

Qa’ani, who was assigned to the Quds Force after the US assassinated his predecessor top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in a Trump-authorized drone strike in Baghdad in January, said both the United States and its regional ally Israel were to wade into serious hardship and adversity.

Qa’ani warned that “very hard days and severe incidents” lie ahead for the US and the Zionist regime, adding, “The US army has become weary and exhausted, and its equipment has turned into scrap metal.”

“You are still experiencing your halcyon days. You have very tough days and occurrences ahead of you,” General Soleimani’s noted.

Washington has to accept its dire conditions and stop oppressing the humanity and its own people, Qa’ani said. 

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