On Thursday morning, two oil tankers suffered from attacks in the Gulf of Oman. No one has confirmed what hit the tankers, but early assessments show that the  damage looks “consistent with a hit by a torpedo or other projectile.”

CBS News reported one U.S. official said it is “highly likely Iran caused these attacks.”

Officials identified one tanker “as the MT Front Altair, a Marshall Islands-flagged but Norwegian-owned crude oil tanker carrying naphtha, a petrochemical product, to Japan.” The other belonged to “Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous” and carried methanol.


Iran claimed it helped rescue the sailors, but the U.S. pushed back:

The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet told Reuters it was assisting two tankers in the Gulf of Oman after receiving two distress calls. Details of the incident were unclear, but one of the operators made an unconfirmed report that a torpedo had hit its ship, Reuters reported.

“We are aware of the reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 a.m. local time and a second one at 7:00 a.m.,” Joshua Frey of the Fifth Fleet said. The Fleet did not blame anyone for the attack.

Thankfully no one died. Only one person suffered from critical injuries.

One investigator explained that “damage appeared to be consistent with a hit by a torpedo or other projectile.” A captain nearby the attack “said he had seen a hole at the water line of the ship, and that it was consistent with a torpedo hit.” Other vessels heard the master of the first ship on a radio “saying that the ‘fire came from a surface attack.'”

Iran has already begun its innocence act by calling the attacks suspicious. Yes, suspicious especially since Japanese Shinzo Abe is in Iran to act “as an interlocutor for President Donald Trump to ease tensions between Washington and Tehran.”

Abe declared on Wednesday “that any ‘accidental conflict’ amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. must be avoided at all costs.”

The tanker association INTERTANKO expressed concern over the attacks since 20% of the global oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz. INTERTANKO’s chairman Paolo d’Amico stated that if these “waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk.”

In May, the U.S. blamed Iran for the attack on four oil tankers around the same area. Photos showed “large holes” caused by “limpet bombs,” which led investigators to conclude the “attacks were part of a sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out by an actor with significant operational capacity, most likely a state actor.”


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