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One Norwegian-owned tanker under the flag of the Marshall Islands, one German-owned flying the Panamese flag. I think if either had been hit by a modern surface-target torpedo, they would have gone down; the Norwegian ship was reported sunk by an Iranian news agency at one point, but that was denied by the owner. She seems dead in the water with the crew evacuated by the Iranians though.

 

A "Japanese" connection has been claimed for the ships however, and the incident looks awfully convenient against the background of current US-Iranian tensions in which Japan has been reported to plan acting as an intermediator. But I wouldn't necessarily blame it on Saudi/American/Israeli etc. false flag operators; there might be radical Iranian elements in the Revolutionary Guards or similar trying to throw in a wrench, too.

Edited by BansheeOne
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Here's the Japanese connection - seems the Panama-flagged ship is Japanese-owned, though German-managed. Also says it was attacked twice inside three hours and the hull breached above the waterline, so not torpedoed. That's suspected for the other ship, though I maintain that it would likely have sunk outright in that case. Then again, Iran has some minisubs that can be armed with leightweight torpedos.

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One tanker on fire apparently attacked above the water line. Numerous images seem to indicate a water line attack with the cargo spilling out of the breach on fire. Reports of the other tanker suffering underwater damage. Also a report that the USS Bainbridge has spotted an unexplored limpet mine on one of the ships (unclear which).

 

This site has lots of new info, though some reports are contradictory.

 

https://iran.liveuamap.com/

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Threw this together from open source marinetraffic data to get an idea of the relative positions of the vessels. Current positions as of 13 JUN on this timestamp, but you can see where the tracks started acting abnormal

9ucdIYB.png



And a zoomed out view for an idea of position relative to landmasses, this one is focused on Front Altair

VZ6g53H.png

Edited by Burncycle360
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It looks like they came under attack and *knew* they came under attack - they pulled hard to starboard to evade something. Presumably a small craft attached the limpet mine to Front Altair. There seems to be less information concerning Kokuka Courageous.

 

ETA: this is, by the way, Bolton's wet dream.

Edited by Josh
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This also undercuts Abe's status as an emissary of reason in Tehran at the moment to the point of embarrassment.

 

What the events of the past 36 hours have illustrated is the possibility of negotiations through Abe, or war by proxy.

 

The choice apparently is Iran's to make.

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A month ago two saudi, one emirati and a norwegian tanker have been attacked in UAE

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Norway notify UN Security Council of attacks on oil tankers
Staff writer, Al Arabiya EnglishThursday, 16 May 2019 Text size A A A
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Norway have notified the United Nations Security Council about the act of sabotage carried out on the commercial vessels in the UAE’s territorial waters on May 12, 2019.

In a joint letter to the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, the permanent representatives of the three countries in the United Nations drew the attention to the attack that targeted four tankers, raising tension in the region.

Two Saudi-flagged, one Norwegian-flagged, and one Emirati-flagged vessel were targeted in the attack blamed on drones launched by the Houthis in Yemen.

“These attacks come at a time when responsible stakeholders across the region should work together to lower tensions,” Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, said in a statement released by the UAE’s official news agency Wam.

“The UAE is cooperating closely with Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, and the United States to investigate these attacks,” the statement said.

“It is an act of sabotage that affects the safety of international navigation and the security of world oil supplies,” said Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi, permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN.

“Consequently, Saudi Arabia condemns in the strongest terms these terrorist attacks and calls upon the international community to take a firm stand towards those responsible for such provocative and subversive operations,” Abdallah said in the statement.

While the attacks did not result in any casualties, or spillage of oil or harmful chemicals, they could have caused serious loss of life and an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Oman.

“We’re glad the crew onboard was unharmed. However, the Norwegian vessel suffered material damages. Norwegian authorities are in the process of assessing the situation, in close cooperation with among others the Emirati authorities,” said Norway’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations Mona Juul.

The attacks took place within UAE territorial waters, east of the port of Fujairah. Operations at the Port of Fujairah have continued as normal without any interruption.

The UAE is taking all steps to protect commercial shipping and maritime traffic and has adopted enhanced maritime safety and security measures in the relevant areas.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Norway also intend to formally notify the International Maritime Organization of these attacks and the threat they pose to international shipping.

Last Update: Thursday, 16 May 2019 KSA 16:13 - GMT 13:13

​

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2019/05/16/UAE-Saudi-Arabia-Norway-notify-UN-Security-Council-of-attacks-on-oil-tankers.html

 

 

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2019/05/12/Four-commercial-vessels-targeted-by-sabotage-near-UAE-waters-Foreign-Ministry.html

 

 

Is this a new sport in the area? :huh:

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Ok, I really wanted to give Iran the benefit of the doubt, just because this move seems to obvious and doesn't benefit them in anyway. But apparently CentCom has video of them pulling up against one of the tankers and removing a mine three hours after it was initially bombed. I don't trust the Trump admin, but as a general rule I trust the military command structure of the US, which by and large has advised against our last several misadventures in the Mid East. If nothing else, there is some fairly compelling footage. So it looks like some element of the IRGC really wanted to do this and stick a thumb in Abe's eye, while blatantly implicating their own country. Not an air tight case, but the evidence seems to be going that way. I almost get the impression that the Sumpreme Leader is actually not the one planned this and someone went way, way off script if this is really happening.

Also I think Bolton shot a load so hard it made his mustache sticky.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/13/world/middleeast/oil-tanker-attack-gulf-oman.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage&login=email&auth=login-email

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There was a report on CNN that one of the tankers reported coming under gunfire. Artillery gunfire is how I interpreted it. Much as I would love to buy into a Mossad/Saudi conspiracy to fit up poor innocent Iran, Ive absolutely no idea how that would work. Any surface vessel (or even shore artillery) is going to leave a Radar signature.

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Ok, I really wanted to give Iran the benefit of the doubt, just because this move seems to obvious and doesn't benefit them in anyway. But apparently CentCom has video of them pulling up against one of the tankers and removing a mine three hours after it was initially bombed. I don't trust the Trump admin, but as a general rule I trust the military command structure of the US, which by and large has advised against our last several misadventures in the Mid East. If nothing else, there is some fairly compelling footage. So it looks like some element of the IRGC really wanted to do this and stick a thumb in Abe's eye, while blatantly implicating their own country. Not an air tight case, but the evidence seems to be going that way. I almost get the impression that the Sumpreme Leader is actually not the one planned this and someone went way, way off script if this is really happening.

 

Also I think Bolton shot a load so hard it made his mustache sticky.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/13/world/middleeast/oil-tanker-attack-gulf-oman.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage&login=email&auth=login-email

How is this incriminating ? My first thought is that they found and removed the mine, in order to foil further attacks by whoever did it.

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I think it interesting one of the ships hit was Japanese, which was just after Shinzo Abe visited Iran. Maybe that is a complete coincidence, or its an indication someone in Iran is trying to screw up attempt to negotiate a deal. For what ends, who can tell.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/06/12/japan-pm-shinzo-abe-tehran-defuse-us-iran-tensions/1429459001/

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The USN video of Iranian personnel removing an object, alleged to be an unexploded limpet mine, from the M/T Kokuka Courageous in the period after it was struck by explosions. Given the height above the waterline of the 'limpet mine', it seems these mines could well have been attached from this type of boat previously. Perhaps at night?

 

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Pictures of damage on Kokua Courageous. Owner says the crew saw "flying objects" before the (first?) explosion, which might mean there were two separate ways of attack (one by - smallish - missile, one by timed limpet mine).

 

image-1438617-860_galleryfree-tuyb-14386

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The USN video of Iranian personnel removing an object, alleged to be an unexploded limpet mine, from the M/T Kokuka Courageous in the period after it was struck by explosions. Given the height above the waterline of the 'limpet mine', it seems these mines could well have been attached from this type of boat previously. Perhaps at night?

 

 

 

Well that just raises way more questions than answers

 

It was mid-day local time when the attacks occurred, why wouldn't they have mentioned small vessels / pirates in the distress call? Where the heck did talk of torpedos come from?

 

This vessel is stationary, has the crew already been evacuated here? If so, there would certainly be other vessels (who responded to the distress call) observing. Iranian vessels literally pulling alongside and pulling limpet mines?

Edited by Burncycle360
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AIUI, Kokua Courageous is currently in Iranian waters. A torpedo hit was suggested for the other ship, Front Altair. I'm curious we're hearing nothing about that one, though it may have something to do with the ship that took her crew off putting them ashore in an Iranian port.

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