TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The US Navy admiral overseeing American naval forces in the Middle East has been found dead at his residence in Bahrain, the Navy said on Saturday.

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Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, a Chicago native, was the commander of the US Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. The Navy did not specify the cause of death.

“The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini Ministry of Interior are cooperating on the investigation, but at this time no foul play is suspected,” said Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, adding that Stearney’s deputy, Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, had assumed command, Reuters reported.

The US-led naval forces assigned to the Fifth Fleet are purportedly responsible for “protection” of strategic waterways in the region, such as the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Red Sea. In recent years, they have been challenged in a number of occasions by Iranian naval forces near Iran’s territorial waters.