Middle East on brink: Oil tankers attacked off Oman

(edited)

Both damaged tankers are in the Gulf of Oman near the iranian Jask island.

I've marked the ships in yellow on this map from Marinetraffic.

 

The one on the right is a 27,000 dwt product carrier Kokuka Courageous, operated by BSM Ship Management (Singapore). After suffering damage to the starboard side, the company said  the vessel’s crew of 21 abandoned ship.

“The master and crew abandoned ship and were quickly rescued from a lifeboat by the vessel Coastal Ace, a nearby vessel. One crew man from the Kokuka Courageous was slightly injured in the incident and is receiving first aid on board the Coastal Ace.” BSM said in a statement.

The Kokuka Courageous remains in the area and is not in any danger of sinking, the company said, adding that the cargo of methanol is intact. The vessel is about 70 nautical miles from Fujairah and about 14 nautical miles from the coast of Iran. The Coastal Ace is in the vicinity at a safe distance from the damaged ship and is awaiting instructions from the UK Marine Trade Operations which is responding to the incident.

 

The one on the left is the 110,000-dwt LR2 Front Altair, owned by Norwegian company Frontline. Norwegian newspaper VG cited a company spokesperson as saying that the vessel suffered a fire following the incident. All 23 crew evacuated the ship and were rescued by a nearby vessel, the Hyundai Dubai. Taiwan’s CPC Corporation informed that the extent of damage aboard the ship and the oil leak after the suspected attack are yet to be confirmed.

 

According to Iran state-run news agency IRNA 44 sailors and crew members have been rescued by Iran's navy from two tankers in the Gulf of Oman and have been taken to the Iranian island of Jask. The report claimed the ships were “targeted” but did not detail by whom, or what.

 

image.png.a560158d7d1f90b9816d3a0e9a241701.png

 

Edited by Guillaume Albasini
correct data on tanker position
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(edited)

image.png.deb41bcc6b6b626702ada29928e7803d.png

this photo purportedly shows the Front Altaïr targeted in the Sea of Oman. I'm trying to verify the photo.

Edited by Guillaume Albasini
photo added
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2 hours ago, J.mo said:

Interesting. What a surprise!

https://www.fxstreet.com/amp/news/wti-jumps-35-to-53-on-gulf-of-oman-oil-tanker-explosion-201906130657

Surprise! Prices slide, tankers explode.

Are you insinuating that tankers are being 'false flag' targeted to get the price of oil up? A bit of a stretch don't you think? Do you have any supporting evidence?

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17 minutes ago, Guillaume Albasini said:

image.png.deb41bcc6b6b626702ada29928e7803d.png

this photo purportedly shows the Front Altaïr targeted in the Sea of Oman. I'm trying to verify the photo.

It seems to be be matching with this image of the Front Altairimage.png.94dc2889a0430ea8a5744cb8c8797297.png

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Busy part of the world; all those ships out there. 

You have to wonder if they struck some mines that were stealthily planted.  Not being around when the ship hits and the blast goes off provides for plausible deniability. 

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Something interesting about the timing of this attacks...

 

News of the reported attacks  broke while Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Abe is currently in Tehran on a visit viewed as an attempt to mediate US-Iran tensions -- it is also the first trip by a Japanese premier since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

One of the two tankers involved in the incident, Kokuka Courageous, is owned by Japan-based company Kokuka Sangyo. According to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry both tankers were carrying "Japan-related cargo."

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said "suspicious doesn't begin to describe" the incident involving two tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

 

 

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US and Iran even disagree on who rescued the crew of the Kokuka Courageous...

 

“Forty-four sailors from the two foreign oil tankers which had an accident this morning in the Sea of Oman were saved from the water by the (navy) rescue unit of Hormozgan province and transferred to the port of Bandar-e-Jask,” (IRNA)

 

 A U.S. Defense Department official told CBS news senior national security correspondent David Martin it's "likely" Iran is the source of the attacks -- and said Iran's rescue claims were "patently false." He said the USS Bainbridge picked up 21 of them.

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If it were true, what a coincidence for the Iranian navy to be rescuing the tankers sailors.

What better deniability reason for Iran that they wouldnt do such a thing while they were meeting the Japanese PM to resolve the issues.

Just a small reminder of how things happen, can happen and will happen in Iran's proxy war.

I am sure , the insurance companies will do their detective work and find out the source and origin of the torpedoes and who the culprits were

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   These oil vessel attacks are almost certainly designed to give the US an excuse to wage war against Iran.      Expect more of these "false flag" attacks in the near future until the war starts.     

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1 minute ago, John Bob said:

   These oil vessel attacks are almost certainly designed to give the US an excuse to wage war against Iran.      Expect more of these "false flag" attacks in the near future until the war starts.     

No one wants to start a war against Iran, the economical sanctions have brought Iran down to their knees financially. They are carrying out a proxy war, with lots of room for deniability. These are not "false flag" conspiracy theories and attacks.

These are small reminders every now and then from Iran and their proxy actors of how things could get bad. Wait and find out what the insurance companies find out, just like they did in the May attacks.

 

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11 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Are you insinuating that tankers are being 'false flag' targeted to get the price of oil up? A bit of a stretch don't you think? Do you have any supporting evidence?

Same goes for the flip side of the coin; do you have any evidence it's not?🤷‍♂️Preferably not a quote from Fox News.

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Here's the question I have, and granted I know as much about international oil shipping and shipping lanes as Mike Pompeo does, ( not a whole hell of a lot😊) but the Front Altair was loaded in the UAE and from Shiptracker, appears to have been way over on the Iranian side of the Gulf, about 50 nautical miles from the coast.

My question is, with the known tensions and knowing their destination to be Singapore, why are they sailing closer to the Iranian shore? Seems iffy at best.

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13 hours ago, Guillaume Albasini said:

image.png.deb41bcc6b6b626702ada29928e7803d.png

this photo purportedly shows the Front Altaïr targeted in the Sea of Oman. I'm trying to verify the photo.

That would not be burning methane. 

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The information at hand is sketchy and it appears that on the political side there are forces that are itching for a reason to go head to head with Iran ,,,ie ,,,,elements of these forces are on both sides,,,so far prices are have risen modestly  to 50 - 60 $ ,however that can change rapidly to a higher figure, guess I better gas up tonite! 

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12 hours ago, ceo_energemsier said:

If it were true, what a coincidence for the Iranian navy to be rescuing the tankers sailors.

What better deniability reason for Iran that they wouldnt do such a thing while they were meeting the Japanese PM to resolve the issues.

Just a small reminder of how things happen, can happen and will happen in Iran's proxy war.

I am sure , the insurance companies will do their detective work and find out the source and origin of the torpedoes and who the culprits were

Additional information https://www.foxnews.com/world/iran-tanker-unexploded-mine-gulf-oman

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8 hours ago, Marc Savoie said:

Same goes for the flip side of the coin; do you have any evidence it's not?🤷‍♂️Preferably not a quote from Fox News.

Very true, but you have avoided providing any evidence for the original theory. Generally, it is considered bad form to answer a question with a question.

So, to answer your question, no I do not have any evidence to indicate that it was not a 'false flag' incident - never indicated that I did. I was simply asking to see if there was any evidence to support a false flag action.

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14 hours ago, John Bob said:

   These oil vessel attacks are almost certainly designed to give the US an excuse to wage war against Iran.      Expect more of these "false flag" attacks in the near future until the war starts.     

US Releases "Smoking Gun" Video Of Iran's Navy Handling Mine On Tanker Hull

In a perhaps positive sign that could slow the attempts of hawks within the administration to push for war over Thursday's mysterious attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, US Central Command issued a statement just hours after Pompeo officially blamed Tehran, saying in a CENTCOM press release that “a war with Iran is not in our strategic interest, nor in the best interest of the international community.”

The statement further called for a formal UN investigation into the incident, something for which there's already international momentum. Iran has "categorically" denied having anything to do with the attack, saying through FM Zarif “Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired”.

The entire bizarre event had immediately evoked unusual levels of public skepticism from media pundits to social media users to even CNN.  ...

 

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(edited)

8 hours ago, ronwagn said:

That would not be burning methane. 

This tanker is the Front Altair and the cargo is naphta.

The one shipping methanol was the other ship, the Kokura Courageous.

 

Edited by Guillaume Albasini
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39 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

US Releases "Smoking Gun" Video Of Iran's Navy Handling Mine On Tanker Hull

In a perhaps positive sign that could slow the attempts of hawks within the administration to push for war over Thursday's mysterious attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, US Central Command issued a statement just hours after Pompeo officially blamed Tehran, saying in a CENTCOM press release that “a war with Iran is not in our strategic interest, nor in the best interest of the international community.”

The statement further called for a formal UN investigation into the incident, something for which there's already international momentum. Iran has "categorically" denied having anything to do with the attack, saying through FM Zarif “Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired”.

The entire bizarre event had immediately evoked unusual levels of public skepticism from media pundits to social media users to even CNN.  ...

 

 Not really a smoking gun. The fact you remove a mine does not mean you placed it.

If this mine was not attached to the tanker by the Iranians I suppose they would want to find some evidence on who did it. And you don't want an unmanned ship full of methanol drifting along your coast with a mine attached to the hull.

 

What is interesting to note is that the two attacked vessels were loaded and the attack happened close to the Iranian coast. Do you really think the Iranians would have taken the risk of a major oil spill affecting their own coasts ? If Iran was behind the attack it would have been more rational and less dangerous to attack an empty ship rather than a loaded one.

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Guillaume Albasini said:

 Not really a smoking gun. The fact you remove a mine does not mean you placed it.

If this mine was not attached to the tanker by the Iranians I suppose they would want to find some evidence on who did it. And you don't want an unmanned ship full of methanol drifting along your coast with a mine attached to the hull.

 

What is interesting to note is that the two attacked vessels were loaded and the attack happened close to the Iranian coast. Do you really think the Iranians would have taken the risk of a major oil spill affecting their own coasts ? If Iran was behind the attack it would have been more rational and less dangerous to attack an empty ship rather than a loaded one.

Someone is trying to stir up trouble, but it doesn't seem to be the Iranians in this incident (The Tylers came up with that ZH clickbait headline, not me).

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(edited)

1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Someone is trying to stir up trouble, but it doesn't seem to be the Iranians in this incident (The Tylers came up with that ZH clickbait headline, not me).

It’s no secret the internal issues within the OPEC members which is religion based, the Sunni majority seem now and historically ready at any time to butt heads with Shia Iran and vice versa.

The US may want to stand back as the blue touch paper has been lit, no direct action is required by the US now as it’s been set up well in advance.

Irans Shia proxies have been well provided for as have the Sunnis by the US and it’s Euro Allies .

The recent shows of support and interfering by the US in the region has manipulated the current situation to exactly where they want it, a regional and fundamentally religion based stand off within the OPEC members.

Cool heads should prevail as this could get very ugly and quickly.

Edited by James Regan
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1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Someone is trying to stir up trouble, but it doesn't seem to be the Iranians in this incident

I view it as highly, highly Unlikely that the Iranians are behind this.  Those mines are not exactly "off-the-shelf," nor are they amenable to being improvised by disgruntled irregulars that would have little knowledge of the complex systems to construct and detonate one.  This is not some I.E.D. rigged up form old artillery shells, the type of buried improvised land mine set off by a wire from some nearby house, the sort of thing that plagued the US Infantry on those roads in Iraq.  A limpet mine is built in a munitions factory by people who know what they are doing. 

So, who got their hands on this? And from where?  The Iranian military knows perfectly well that it cannot go into combat with the US military, they would get wiped out.  That Iranian Navy is thoroughly professional, probably more so than the Russian.  You never see the Iranians doing those near-collision runs at US warships the way the Russians do in the Black Sea against US destroyers;  nothing to stop the US from leveling its deck cannons directly at the bridge of any Iranian commander reckless enough to do that and blast that ship superstructure right off the hull.  And the Iranians know it.   So they do not provoke the USA.

If the US wanted to, the Navy aircraft and land-based machines off Bahrain/Qatar could wipe out the entire Iranian air force in one strike.  Don't think the Iranians were not watching when, at the start of the Iraq War, those stealth aircraft went in to the center of Baghdad and blasted the Iraqi  communications buildings into total rubble, right smack through AA flak fire so intense you could walk on it at 10,000 feet.  And those guys were watching as US "smart bombs" would sail down and right through a window or ventilation shaft to blast a command bunker into rubble.  Anybody military seeing that knows that you are blind against US aircraft and helpless against those smart bombs.  

If you have no real defense and you know you are going to get wiped out in less than 15 minutes in the first wave attack, and your enemy can and will do it with impunity no matter how much you shoot at him and your enemy can and will do it without suffering a scratch, would you go out there and start up a shooting war?    No chance.  The Iranians are a very smart people. That military knows better. 

So the idea that the Iranians are out there in rubber rafts sneaking up on foreign shipping right smack off their coast and attaching magnetic mines to those hulls, that idea is a non-starter. 

OK, think this through: if not the Iranians, then who?  And for what aim?  

The Iranians would benefit by making good on their implied threats to effectively close the Persian Gulf to all shipping, which they can do by jacking up insurance rates in London.  And that line of thought would imply Iranian proxies.  Sounds good, but getting less likely.

The Sunnis would benefit by making it look like Shi'ite agents were responsible, in order to provoke the US into blasting the Iranians back into the Stone Age.  Gets rid of your enemies.  

Third Parties might be responsible because they are all crazies and crazy enough to start jihad against the entire planet, including the Norwegians.   I mean, come on, Norway?  Who wants to attack Norway?   There is no percentage in doing that.  Only the crazies are going to go that route. . 

Now here's the kicker:  crazies are crazy.  The crazies don't need a reason.  For that crowd, seeing any ship blasted is good enough, they do it because they are completely nuts, totally crazy.  So another plausible explanation, beyond the convoluted ones we Westerners can fashion in a moment of Western coolness, is that those responsible are these fringe crazies that have munitions, and the Middle East is crawling with crazies.  That much is certain.   

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