Burning Tankers, the Strait of Hormuz situation 6/2019


TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Is Iran to blame for suspected attacks on Gulf tankers?
Analysts examine US claim that Iran was behind the reported attacks on commercial ships near the Strait of Hormuz.

by Maysam Behravesh
6 hours ago
Even in ordinary times, an attack on commercial tankers near the Strait of Hormuz - a vital sea lane for the world's oil supplies, located between Iran and Oman - would be a matter of concern for global trade.

That such incidents were reported on Thursday, at a time of soaring US-Iran tensions, makes them an even greater threat. Not just for global commerce, but also for peace and security in the region and the world.

Thursday's incidents, which caused damage to the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, came just a month after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported "sabotage attacks" against four other commercial ships off the coast of its Fujairah emirate.

The US, which has been building up its military presence in the region, has blamed Iran for both events.


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Hours after the latest incidents were reported, the US military released a grainy video that it said showed members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) trying to remove an unexploded mine from the Kokuka Courageous.

Tehran has denied the US accusations, saying the latest claims are both "ridiculous" and "dangerous".

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, also called the timing of the reported attacks "suspicious", given that a Japanese-owned ship was damaged while Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on a visit to Tehran, seeking to defuse US-Iran frictions.


'Ridiculous, dangerous': Iran denies US claims over Gulf tankers (3:17)
As calls grew for an international inquiry, the owner of the Kokuka Courageous cast doubt on the US narrative, saying the vessel's crew saw a "flying object" before it was rocked by a second blast.

"I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship," Yutaka Katada said on Friday.

Analysts reacted to the US allegations with scepticism. Even those who found the claims credible said Washington may have forced Iran's hand with its "maximum pressure" campaign of punishing financial sanctions.

Threat to close Strait of Hormuz
"Tehran has the capability to commit such attacks and has threatened to interfere with shipping in the Gulf while it is also in a state of desperation due to the tight sanctions and international isolation," said Max Abrahms, professor of political science at Northeastern University in the US.

That Iranian threat followed a US bid to bring Iran's oil revenues down to zero. The US move, announced in May, came after Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran, a year after exiting an international accord that lifted global sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear programme.

US President Donald Trump said the renewed financial pressure was aimed at forcing Iran to negotiate a new deal that would also address its ballistic missiles project.

Iran, however, has remained defiant.

Despite US sanctions triggering an economic crisis in the country, Iranian leaders said they would not be bullied into talks with the US. Instead, they threatened counter-measures, including the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, through which more than a third of all oil traded by sea passes.

"According to international law, the Strait of Hormuz is a marine passageway and if we are barred from using it, we will shut it down," General Alireza Tangsiri, commander-in-chief of the IRGC's navy, said in April.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the same last December. "If one day they want to prevent the export of Iran's oil, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf," he had warned.

The Islamic Republic has also warned it will withdraw from the nuclear accord if other parties to the agreement - Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and China - fail to shield Tehran from the US penalties.

Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, said if Iran was responsible for Thursday's attacks, it was carrying out its repeated threats that other countries in the region would also "face obstacles" in exporting oil.

"The aim would be to show the international community that its acquiescence to US secondary sanctions is not cost-free and to show the Trump administration that far from curbing Iran's 'malign' policies, US actions are incentivising them."

'Scepticism warranted'
But with Iran still appealing to the remaining signatories to deliver on its promised economic benefits, Abrahms said it was not in Tehran's interests to disrupt trade in the Gulf.

"The question arises as to why Tehran would commit such an attack because it only harms Iran on the world stage and helps its enemies, while scepticism is also warranted due to the unreliability of [US] intelligence," he said, referring to the faulty intelligence Washington used to justify its invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Despite Iran's defiance to the US's moves, attacks on international oil shipments in the Gulf represented a qualitatively different type of activity, others noted.

"It could not be Iran's job or even that of certain elements within the Iranian state," said Hamidreza Azizi, professor of international relations at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran.

"Consider the coincidence of these attacks with Abe's landmark trip to Tehran, the presence of Russian crew on Norwegian-owned Front Altair, the proximity of the incident site to Iran's territorial waters, and finally the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's emphasis that "resistance" does not mean military action, and you will realise Tehran is not the culprit," he said.

"It sounds like a provocative false-flag operation staged by Iran's regional nemeses so they could play the victim and portray Tehran as the chief devil in the room even as they are trying to torpedo any chance of negotiations between Tehran and Washington and dragging Iran into a conflict they crave for but cannot win alone," Azizi added.

'All-out war'
Regardless of who was behind Thursday's incidents, insecurity in the Gulf is likely to persist "until the US and its allies change their aggressive behaviour towards Iran and let off steam", said an IRGC-affiliated intelligence analyst.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on the condition of anonymity, the analyst said some in Tehran believe a large-scale confrontation in the Gulf is unlikely because such a conflict would also have severe consequences for the US and its regional allies.

"If these escalations lead to military confrontation between Iran and the US by any chance, Tehran's response will not be limited to the US, but will definitely involve its allies in the neighbourhood; they will see the end of their rule," the analyst explained.

"They might be hoping for a limited conflict, but that's not how things will turn out in the case of Iran. It will be an all-out war but let's not forget that it was the US that started this spiral
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USN YouTube channel release of Video showing what is reported as IRGC removing Limpet mine
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
Operator: Tanker hit by flying object, not mine

The United States is pinning the blame for the tanker attacks on Iran. Tehran denies the accusation.

Now the Japanese operator of one of the tankers is providing new details about what happened.

The president of the Tokyo-based shipping firm Kokuka Sangyo says its tanker was hit by an incoming projectile. He says several crew members witnessed the source of the second blast.

Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo said, "I've received reports that they saw something come flying toward them, then there was an explosion, and then there was a hole in the vessel."

He denied that the tanker was hit by a floating mine, torpedo or an attached explosive as had been previously reported. He said the damage was way above sea level.

"Kokuka Courageous" and another tanker owned by a Norwegian shipping company were attacked on Thursday in international waters near the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil shipping route.

Crewmembers from both vessels were rescued, but one person was injured. The Japanese tanker is now on its way to the United Arab Emirates.

The US is blaming Iran. Its military has released a video which allegedly shows the country's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers. It's believed to be a limpet mine which can be detonated remotely.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication."

Tehran is denying any involvement. The Iranian Foreign Minister tweeted that the US is making allegations without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence, cusing the US of "sabotage diplomacy."

The UN Security Council held an emergency closed-door meeting on Thursday at the request of the US.

Acting US Ambassador Jonathan Cohen said, "I've asked the Security Council to remain seized of this matter. And I expect that we will have further conversations about it on how to respond in the days ahead."

Kuwait's ambassador, currently the rotating president of the Council, told reporters that they "didn't discuss any evidence" that may have shown Iran was behind the action.

The attacks came as Japan's prime minister was in Iran to try and ease tensions between Tehran and Washington.

In Tokyo, Japanese ministers are debating what to do next. Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii said, "We do not know details of the attack, including who is responsible. we are gathering information from the people concerned and we have alerted the Japanese vessels sailing in the region through a related business association."

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said, " At this moment, we haven't been asked to send Japan's Self Defense Forces. So, we don't have a plan to send the units to the region near the Strait of Hormuz to respond to this incident."

Iwaya added that Japanese citizens are not at risk right now, but if that changes the government would make a different judgment.
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Detail to be pointed out here is.
If it was a Limpet mine it might have to those aboard the Tankers, looked like they were hit by a projectile. When the mine detonates it would produce fragmentation that would be blown away from the ship but as this is a high speed event the brain doesn’t always comprehend what it sees so something going out can look to an observer like it’s coming in.
Basically until a actual damage inspection don’t put to much faith in eye witness claims.

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Iran tried to shoot down US Reaper drone that arrived on scene of oil tanker attacks: officials
By Lukas Mikelionis

Published June 15, 2019

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fired a missile – but missed – at an American drone on Thursday after the supposed Iranian attack on oil tankers, while another U.S. drone was shot down by Iran-backed rebels in
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in recent days.

A senior U.S. official told Fox News that an MQ9 Reaper drone was fired on by the
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on Thursday shortly after it arrived at the scene where the MV Altair tanker sent out a distress signal amid the attacks the U.S. says were perpetrated by Iran.

The official said the first distress call from the MV Altair tanker, a Marshall Islands-flagged but Norwegian-owned crude oil tanker, went out at 6:12am local time. The unmanned MQ9 Reaper drone arrived 8 minutes later.

Then at 6:45am local time, a missile was fired at the drone, but missed. The U.S. military said that it was a modified SA-7 fired from Iran’s mainland. It was fired on after the drone arrived on station to assist the Norwegian tanker.

Officials also told Fox News that a U.S. MQ9 drone was shot down in Yemen by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in recent days.

The news comes amid tensions in the region following the attack on oil tankers that put the U.S. and Iran on the brink of a direct conflict.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for the "blatant assault" on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier Thursday.

In a news conference, Pompeo said: “This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”

He charged that Iran was working to disrupt the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz and this is a deliberate part of a campaign to escalate tension, adding that the U.S. would defend its forces and interests in the region, although he did not elaborate.

President Trump, meanwhile, told “Fox and Friends” Friday morning that the attack had “Iran written all over it.’

“[Iran is] a nation of terror and they've changed a lot since I've been president, I can tell you,” he added.

— President Trump
“Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” he said, before pointing to the video showing the Iranians removing the unexploded mine. “They're a nation of terror and they've changed a lot since I've been president, I can tell you,” he added.

U.S. officials released a video Friday supposedly showing Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the vessels.

The black-and-white footage, as well as still photos released by the U.S. military’s Central Command on Friday, appeared to show the limpet mine on the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, before a Revolutionary Guard patrol boat pulled alongside the ship and removed the mine, Central Command spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said.

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter
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.

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Jura

General
what's the status now? there's a dated map inside the most recent article I found
Gulf of Oman: Saudi Arabia blames tanker attacks on rival Iran
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  • 16 June 2019

they're off Emirates' coast as of let's say noon local time today:




should I just believe their "Route Forecast" currently shown by MarineTraffic.com?

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will walk into a forest now anyway LOL
 

plawolf

Brigadier
Smoking gun? I see the usual suspects have zero clue as to how ridiculous it is to echo the infamous Iraqi smoking gun WMD claims in their current media campaign for another war in the ME.

Someone is blowing holes (but critically not sinking) oil tankers on Iran’s doorstep. For all the claims of grainy pictures as ‘definitive’ proof, I have yet to see any convincing argument as to why Iran would do this. What benefit do they gain by making their world their enemy? When the likes of China, Russia and the EU are busy working on measures to counteract the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the UN backed nuclear deal that started all this?

It all stinks to high heaven and positively screams false flag to me.
 

SteelBird

Major
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fired a missile – but missed – at an American drone on Thursday after the supposed Iranian attack on oil tankers, while another U.S. drone was shot down by Iran-backed rebels in
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in recent days.
just curious, in what circumstance that a missile would miss a slow, non-agile drone?
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
just curious, in what circumstance that a missile would miss a slow, non-agile drone?
A Manpads vs a Reaper.
Reaper and Predator can be killed by Antiair missiles even Manpads but it’s not a money back guarantee. You have to consider the altitude, range, atmospheric conditions of what was likely a IR guided missile, quality of and condition of the missile.
Farther more around 2015 the USAF is said to have begun adding countermeasure systems to Mq9
If the report is accurate it may well have been an older, smaller system built in Iran and we have no idea the Quality control on its build. Add in a small moving boat, hot middle eastern climate sea water, the potential of IR Countermeasures and there are any number of possible reasons the missile could have gone stupid.
 

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