first published on May 13, 2019 by Will
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported that four commercial vessels were sabotaged off its eastern coast on Sunday, amid rising tensions with Iran.
Reports indicate that two Saudi oil tankers, a Norwegian oil tanker, and a UAE vessel were the targets of the sabotage, however, not much information has been revealed on the nature of the damage.
Strangely, the attacks occurred shortly after Iranian media outlets “falsely” reported fires and explosions at UAE’s Fujairah’s port. Those reports were denied by Emirati officials.
Reuters quoted Intertanko, an association of independent tanker owners and operators, as having reviewed photos of damage from two of the vessels showing impact holes in their hulls from some sort of weapon.
Just days ago, the US expedited a carrier strike group deployment to the region, as well as four B-52 bombers and patriot missiles in response to credible intelligence predicting Iran and its proxies carrying out attacks against US forces and commercial maritime traffic in the region.
While Iran has denied involvement on the sabotaged vessels, they had threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz because of the US decision to uphold sanctions for major Iranian oil importers. It also called the US carrier group a target and not a threat.