May 15, 2019 | Story | No Comments
Video footage captured by an RT Arabic correspondent details the damage done to a Norwegian tanker ship at a port in UAE waters. Saudi and Emirati officials allege three other ships nearby were targeted with ‘sabotage.’
The footage reveals a sizable hole in the stern of the Andrea Victory, a Norwegian tanker ship docked at the port of Fujairah in the UAE. The damage was inflicted on Sunday by an “unknown object,” Thome Ship Management, a Norwegian shipping company that manages the vessel, said in a statement to the media.
No crew members were harmed in the incident and that the Andrea Victory was not at risk of sinking, the company said.
Three other commercial vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers and an Emirati barge, were also damaged Sunday in what Saudi and UAE officials say were “sabotage attacks.” One of the Saudi ships was in the process of delivering Saudi crude oil to American customers, according to Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih.
Though the UAE maintained that the four ships were damaged by sabotage, local authorities at Fujairah denied media reports of explosions at the harbor.
The incident comes on the heels of a number of American military deployments to the region, meant to quell an unspecified threat from Iran, according to the White House. Perhaps anticipating that Iran would be blamed, the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday called for an investigation, requesting to know “the exact dimensions” of what happened.
When asked whether Iran was involved in the sabotage, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook declined to comment but said the US would assist the UAE in its investigation. The Saudis and Emiratis also refrained from explicitly blaming Iran.
US President Donald Trump did not speculate whether Tehran was behind the Fujairah incident but said the US would retaliate if Iran attacked any tankers in the Mediterranean.
“It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens, I can tell you that,” the president told reporters Monday “They’re not going to be happy.”
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