Oil tanker hit by torpedo sinks as US Navy scrambles to scene

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AN OIL tanker left blazing in the Gulf this morning has sunk Iran has claimed – as the US Navy mulls escorting ships in the troubled region.

The shocking strikes on two Norwegian vessels, come after mine attacks on Saudi Arabian, Norwegian, and Emirate ships on May 12.However, the Norwegian owner of the MT Front Altair denied Iranian claims the vessel has sunk after reports emerged it was hit with mines and a torpedo.

Shocking images showed the ship ablaze and smoke pouring out into a column several kilometers high. The US Navy scrambled warships to the area and it has since been reported they are considered offering oil takers protection in the troubled area.

 

Babak Taghvaee, the author and defense analyst, said that, “due to the act of hostility…toward commercial shipping in Oman Sea today, the US… started studying plans to escort convoys of Oil tankers in 5th Fleet Areas of Operations using the Destroyers of USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group.”

The mine and alleged torpedo strikes follow rising tensions with Iran, with President Trump dispatching extra battleships to the region and withdrawing US citizens from Iraq amid fear of missile attacks.

Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman, was quick to blame Iran, saying: “The continuation of the Iranian regime’s aggression and reckless escalation, whether directly or through its militias, will result in grave consequences.”

However, Tehran hit back by suggesting the timing of the strikes was “suspicious” – as they came just as Japanese leader Shinzo Abe met Iran’s Supreme Leader today in an effort to defuse the crisis.

The Japanese have also revealed that the two tankers had been carrying “Japan-related cargo”.

Meanwhile, the price of oil jumped by around three percent after the attack and there are fears for global supplies if conflict in the region escalates.

Paul d’Amico from the tanker association INTERTANKO said he was extremely worried about the safety of cargo and crews going through the Strait of Hormuz, where the attack happened.

“We need to remember that some 30% of the world’s [seaborne]crude oil passes through the Strait. If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire western world could be at risk,” he said.

One of the ships, the Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair, was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo”, Taiwan’s state-owned petrol company said earlier.

The second tanker, Kokuka Courageous, was damaged in a “suspected attack” that breached the hull above the waterline.

It was sailing from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, according to Bernhard Schulte Ship management.

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  1. Terrence O. Shea on

    I do not believe for a moment that Iran is responsible for these attacks. I suspect that the US in collaboration with Saudi Arabia is engineering a situation where a full scale assault on Iran by SA with the support of the US will be the result. The US has a well documented history of interference in the region and of manipulating public opinion in support of “reasonable measures” to promote safety and stability when in fact they are doing exactly the opposite. The Iraq War along with other US interventions all the way back to Viêt Nam and beyond point to the fact that the US is hands off unless there is something in it for them. With the present administration, I would say this is more likely than at any other time since the “big stick” diplomacy of Teddy Roosevelt

    • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I disagree with everything you said. Iran has proven their leadership is not to be trusted. Too bad for the people.

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