Two Saudi oil tankers — one of which was bound for the US — were targeted early Monday in a “sabotage attack” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, according to kingdom officials.
The ships sustained “significant damage,” though the nature of the alleged attack is unclear.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, said it unfolded in territorial waters along the country’s eastern coast, near the port of Fujairah in the Gulf of Oman.
“Fortunately, the attack didn’t lead to any casualties or oil spill,” he told the Saudi Press Agency in a statement. “However, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels.”
Al-Falih said one of the ships was on its way to pick up Saudi crude oil to bring to the United States when it was targeted.
His report comes just days after the Trump administration issued a new maritime alert — warning of “acts of sabotage” to ships off the UAE coast as tensions continue to rise between the US and Iran.
“Since early May, there is an increased possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take action against U.S. and partner interests, including oil production infrastructure, after recently threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz,” the alert said. “Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait or the Persian Gulf.”
Iran has accused President Trump of “politicizing oil and using it as a weapon in the fragile state of the market.” The country’s Foreign Ministry questioned the details of the oil tanker assault and called for clarification on Al-Falih’s comments.
The Gulf Cooperation Council — which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — condemned the alleged attack in a statement, calling it a “serious escalation.”
“Such irresponsible acts will increase tension and conflicts in the region and expose its peoples to great danger,” said general-secretary Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani.
US officials declined to comment on the alleged incident.
With Post Wires
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