World: US Navy assisting 2 targeted tankers in Oman Sea - - PressFrom - US
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WorldUS Navy assisting 2 targeted tankers in Oman Sea

10:55  13 june  2019
10:55  13 june  2019 Source:   msn.com

Tankers Attacked Again in Gulf of Oman, Raising Fears of Wider Conflict

Tankers Attacked Again in Gulf of Oman, Raising Fears of Wider Conflict Two oil tankers came under attack on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, forcing their crews to abandon ship and setting at least one vessel ablaze, a month after four tankers were damaged in the same waterway, a vital thoroughfare for much of the world’s oil products. The attacks escalated tensions in an already tense region, where Iran has long been at odds with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and they are backing opposite sides in the civil war in Yemen. Relations between the United States — allied with the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia — and Iran have also worsened.

US Navy assisting 2 targeted tankers in Oman Sea© The Associated Press This undated photograph from the United Arab Emirates' Mission to the United Nations released Thursday, June 6, 2019, shows the damage done to the Emirati-owned oil tanker A. Michel off the coast of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. A joint statement released Thursday by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Norway said the damage done to the four oil tankers off the UAE likely came from limpet mines placed by a "state actor" amid U.S. and Saudi allegations Iran carried out the sabotage. Iran has denied being involved amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington. (United Arab Emirates' Mission to the United Nations via AP)

Update:

Ships operating in Gulf region urged to take extreme caution

Ships operating in Gulf region urged to take extreme caution Governments and maritime agencies have urged an abundance of caution for ships operating in the Persian Gulf region after two oil tankers were damaged in suspected attacks near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on Mideast developments amid rising tensions in the Persian Gulf region (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet says it is assisting two oil tankers targeted in the "reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman."

The Bahrain-based force did not elaborate on who attacked what it described as two oil tankers. It also did not blame anyone for the attack.

The 5th Fleet said it had sent naval forces to the area to assist the two vessels. One has been identified as the MT Front Altair, a Marshall Islands-flagged crude oil tanker.

A private maritime intelligence firm says the Front Altair is adrift and on fire.

U.S. blames Iran for tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman, oil prices rise

U.S. blames Iran for tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman, oil prices rise U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that the United States has assessed, based on intelligence, type of weapons used and sophistication of assaults, that Iran is responsible for the attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Earlier:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A U.K. maritime safety group warned Thursday of an unspecified incident in the Gulf of Oman and urged "extreme caution" amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran and a high-stakes visit by the Japanese prime minister to Iran.

Iranian media claimed — without offering any evidence — that there had been an explosion in the area targeting oil tankers.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which is run by the British navy, put out the alert but did not elaborate on the incident. It said it was investigating.

Cmdr. Joshua Frey, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said his command was "aware" of a reported incident in the area. He declined to elaborate.

"We are working on getting details," Frey told The Associated Press.

Benchmark Brent crude rose over 4% in trading, to over $62 a barrel after reports of the incident, according to early market figures Thursday.

How the Oman tanker attack played out

How the Oman tanker attack played out The attack on two tankers in a vital Gulf of Oman waterway Thursday comes at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran in the oil-rich region and raises concerns of a potential conflict in the Middle East. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quick to point the finger at Iran, saying his assessment was "based on intelligence.

Dryad Global, a maritime intelligence firm, preliminarily identified the vessel involved as the MT Front Altair, a Marshall Islands-flagged crude oil tanker. The vessel was "on fire and adrift," Dryad added. It did not offer a cause for the incident.

Iranian state television's website, citing the pro-Iran Lebanese satellite news channel Al-Mayadeen, said two oil tankers had been targeted in the Gulf of Oman. It offered no evidence to support the claim.

Emirati officials declined to immediately comment. The coordinates offered for the incident by the U.K. group put it some 45 kilometers (25 miles) off the Iranian coastline.

The maritime alert comes after what the United States has described as Iranian attacks on four oil tankers nearby, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Iran has denied being involved.

Those apparent attacks occurred off the Emirati port of Fujairah, also on the Gulf of Oman, approaching the critical Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil traded by sea passes.

The timing was especially sensitive as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was visiting Iran on a high-stakes diplomacy mission. On Wednesday, after talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Abe warned that any "accidental conflict" that could be sparked amid the heightened U.S.-Iran tensions must be avoided.

Iran fast-boats preventing towing of damaged Altair tanker - source

Iran fast-boats preventing towing of damaged Altair tanker - source Iranian military fast-boats in the Gulf of Oman are preventing two privately owned tug boats from towing away an oil tanker damaged in attacks on Thursday, a U.S. official said on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The U.S. official did not say how the United States knew of the reported standoff between the Iranian fast-boats and the tug boats, which were trying to tie up and tow away the Norwegian-owned Front Altair. The United States blames Iran for Thursday's attacks against the Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous. Tehran denies the accusations.

His message came just hours after Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi airport, wounding 26 people.

Abe was to meet with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday, the second and final day of his visit.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a top government spokesman, told reporters that Abe's trip was intended to help de-escalate tensions in the Mideast — but not specifically mediate between Tehran and Washington.

His remarks were apparently meant to downplay and lower expectations amid uncertain prospects for Abe's mission.

Tensions have escalated in the Mideast as Iran appears poised to break the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, an accord that the Trump administration pulled out of last year.

___

Associated Press writers Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.

Read More

Ilhan Omar blames Trump for Iran-linked attacks on oil tankers.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, is placing blame on President Trump for last Thursday's attacks on two oil tankers, which the U.S. has linked to Iran. "None of this would be happening if Trump didn't back out of the Iran nuclear deal," Omar tweeted. "America’s response should be to return to the table and reinstate the Iran nuclear deal. Increasing tensions and threats of war serve nobody's interests." President Trump declared Iran was responsible for the attacks in the Gulf of Oman, pointing to video released by the U.S. Navy showing an Iranian vessel removing an unexploded mine.

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