Saudi and U.A.E. Ships ‘Sabotaged’ Off Emirati Coast
May 13, 2019 (EIRNS)—Two Saudi Arabian tankers were hit in a “sabotage attack” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and have “significant damage.” One of the ships was en route to pick up Saudi oil to take to the United States, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said today. Reportedly four ships were sabotaged on May 12 off the coast of the port city of Fujairah.
“One of the two vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude oil from the port of Ras Tanura, to be delivered to Saudi Aramco’s customers in the United States,” al-Falih said. “Fortunately, the attack didn’t lead to any casualties or oil spill; however, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels.”
“Such irresponsible acts will increase tension and conflicts in the region and expose its peoples to great danger,” said Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, who was visiting the Saudi King in Jeddah.
After the Saudi announcement, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called for clarification and more information about the incident and warned against any “conspiracy orchestrated by ill-wishers” and “adventurism by foreigners” to undermine the maritime region’s stability and security.
Neither the Saudi nor Emirati officials elaborated on what was meant by a “sabotage attack” or indicated who might have been responsible. However, the incidents occur at the time of Iranian-U.S. tensions and a U.S. warning yesterday that “Iran or its proxies” could be targeting maritime traffic in the region. The incidents also follow the U.S.’s deployment of an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter what it called “threats from Tehran.”