Incident in Gulf of Oman, ‘explosions’ affect two oil tankers – report


Incident comes a month after an attack on four oil tankers there off the UAE coast.

By Seth J. Frantzman – JERUSALEM POST – June 13, 2019 14:37 – An incident in the Gulf of Oman was reported by Iranian media on Thursday morning, saying that there had been “two explosions.”

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which is staffed by UK naval reserves and has an office in Dubai that deals with coordinating traffic in the Persian Gulf and nearby areas, appeared to confirm the reports, urging “extreme caution.” In addition, US Commander Joshua Frey of the 5th Fleet, according to the Associated Press, said that they were “working on getting details.”  America has a carrier strike group in the area amid tensions with Iran.

The incident comes one month after four tankers were sabotaged in the Gulf of Oman off the UAE port of Fujairah. Washington blamed that incident on Iran, asserting that Tehran was almost certainly behind it. However, there has been no response to that attack since then, even though Saudi Arabia hosted three summits and urged unity against the Islamic republic. Two of the tankers damaged in May were Saudi. The tankers affected today, according to unverified reports online, were flying Panamanian and Marshall Island flags, and were en route from the UAE and Saudi Arabia to Singapore and Taiwan. The incident allegedly took place as they were off the coast of Iran.In recent days, there have been reports of fires on several Iranian ships and also at the South pars oil platform. That platform is near Assalouyeh, while today’s incident was thought to be off Bander-e Jask, which is more than 400 km. away.The incident comes on the heels of the visit to Tehran by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in which he sought to ease tensions with the US. It also comes a week and a half before the Bahrain summit, which the US has pushed to help the Palestinian economy. Iran has slammed the summit and gotten allies in Lebanon and Iraq to boycott it.