Oil tankers attacked near UAE waters: Saudi Arabia

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 14, 2019 - Duration: 01:35s

Oil tankers attacked near UAE waters: Saudi Arabia

Tensions escalate near the Strait of Hormuz after what the UAE called “sabotage attacks" on four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

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Oil tankers attacked near UAE waters: Saudi Arabia

More details are emerging about the commercial ships that Saudi Arabia says were attacked near a strategic waterway -- that could be a potential flashpoint as tensions surge between Iran and the United States.

Saudi Arabia says two of its oil tankers were among those attacked.

A Norwegian company has claimed a ship.

And Reuters has learned that a fourth ship is flagged to the United Arab Emirates.

It was the UAE that first reported that ships were attacked off its coast near the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday, and claimed it was an act of sabotage -- and that there was no oil spill or casualties -- but hasn't released any other information.

Neither the UAE nor Saudi have said anything about the nature of the attack or who might be responsible.

The Norwegian vessel's owners though, say their ship was struck by an unknown object.

You can see the hole it made here at the waterline.

And Iran, the traditional adversary of the Saudis and Emirates, is distancing itself.

Iran is calling for an investigation and says it's a quote, "worrisome and dreadful" incident.

The Strait of Hormuz is a major shipping route for oil and gas, and separates the Gulf states from Iran.

It's also near where the United States has deployed an aircraft carrier group and other forces in its escalating standoff with Tehran.

On Monday Britain's Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt warned that a conflict might happen by accident here, if any of the sides aren't careful.

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