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Just speculation, but it may have been a case of wrong place / wrong time for the targeted ships. The local time of the distress signal was 0612, and it was about 20 miles off shore from Jask, so the small boats may have assembled and set out under cover of darkness at the nearest thing they could find via open source intel (AIS information) under cover of twilight (local sunrise is 0550), so the arrival coincides just as they had light to work with. The distress signal for the other vessel was almost an hour later and it was about 10 nautical miles away at the time.

Jask also houses those sorts of craft (this is from 05 JUN 2019), one appears to be a Hendijan class vessel below and to the left of the two La Combattante IIa missile boats on the upper left side, and possibly a couple of tiny Gashti class fast boats top center.

rpFJuoZ.png

Edited by Burncycle360
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Wrw again!

 

Right? That guy is a conflict magnet. He's off my hypothetical wedding invite list.

 

 

First time I've seen the word "magnet" used to mean "catalyst."

 

We can only speculate who he has on his satphone speeddial settings.

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The attack is conveniently close to Iranian waters and far from most of the traffic:

 

That's interesting, it would be useful to know who plotted the course of the two ships. Were they led to the attackers? Have they exploded themselves? As half of the crews in Iran, half in US hands, maybe we will know.

 

 

I don't think the course itself would be abnormal for tankers going to the Far East, and anyone with AIS can track a ship real time.

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Im guessing that something that far above the waterline is an ATGM, perhaps fired by a Boghammar. Although all the footage so far has been shit, so its pretty hard to make any determination about what happened.

 

That's roughly a man height standing in a small boat.

Yeah, most likely explanation.

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The USN has released a timeline, which has some interesting information:

 

At 9:26 a.m. local time the Iranians requested that the motor vessel Hyundai Dubai, which had rescued the sailors from the M/T Altair, to turn the crew over to the Iranian FIACs. The motor vessel Hyundai Dubai complied with the request and transferred the crew of the M/T Altair to the Iranian FIACs.

 

and

 

At 11:05 a.m. local time USS Bainbridge approaches the Dutch tug Coastal Ace, which had rescued the crew of twenty-one sailors from the M/T Kokuka Courageous who had abandoned their ship after discovering a probable unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.

While the Hendijan patrol boat appeared to attempt to get to the tug Coastal Ace before USS Bainbridge, the mariners were rescued by USS Bainbridge at the request of the master of the M/T Kokuka Courageous.

 

So, Iran successfully 'requested' a hand over of the crew of the M/T Altair and seems to have intended to capture the crew of the M/T Kokuka Courageous, but failed.

 

That Iranian state TV reportedly has shown a video of Front Altair's crew assuring they're in good health and thanking Iran for its hospitality doesn't exactly reassure me about their status. Frontline has said they're working with the authorities and embassies of several countries to bring them home ASAP (their nationalities are stated as eleven each Russians and Fillipinos plus one Georgian).

 

The fire on Front Altair is reported extinguished, but the ship has suffered "immense" damage. A salvage team has been flown in to coordinate the effort on behalf of the insurers. Maybe we'll hear more details soon.

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A situation similar to a terror attack that no group has come forward to claim responsibility for. The investigation trail in these instances usually begins with who benefits and who does not.

 

Piecing together the picture of who sent the equivalent of X Flotilla MAS into action at the same time Abe was extending an olive branch to Tehran is going to be interesting.

 

All the USN has to do is release the entire drone video, since the boat itself must have sailed back to some port somewhere after the attack. Was that port in Iran?

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It may be best to trickle out the evidence to make Iran's denials less plausible.

 

How many ships can the USN deploy to create a rapid response screen? We should already have the ability to track everything that moves in the Gulf.

The best move for now would be to let Iran keep it up for a time while the US builds an ironclad case and hands it off to the NATO allies. Just use everything to increase sanction leverage as the sanctions are really biting now.

The Iranian economy is in trouble and that is why they are lashing out. Best news yet is that oil prices haven't changed much, maybe 4-6%. The Ayatollah's people have stepped on their rug with muddy feet this time.

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NATO won't want to know. Nobody was interested in Europe's opinion over the nuclear deal, it's a bit late to snap fingers and expect so allies to fall into line. After all, America doesn't need allies, right?

 

All that said, I'd be delighted to see the regime fall. All we need do is sit back and watch it happen. Piracy or maritime interdiction will change nothing.

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Its as simple as saying here is what we are doing and here are the reasons we are doing it. If NATO and the supporting governments are still willing to defend Iran's actions then President Trump will call them out on it. If Europe is lucky then President Biden will forgive Iran for its actions.

Before you say that I am too hard on Europe keep in mind that it was the US government that willingly paid Iran to engage in their current activities (in cash, no less)

 

The Iranians will go looking for Chinese help much as the Venezuelans have. China is vast and wealthy but right this second has other issues on its plate.

 

The release of the second tanker's crew is key on what happens next

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It Iran and Iranians are responsible, they should prepare themselves for the consequences of stupidity.

 

If they are, it would be a slap in the face for Abe as well, erasing news of his visit to Tehran off the front pages.

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latest reports indicate the crew that was being held has been released and flown to Dubai.

Iranian intelligence probably has enough information on the crew to be able to credibly threaten their families if need be.

At least the crew members are out of Iran. That is a good step.

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the fact that Iran forced one ship to hand over the rescued crew and tried to get the Dutch ship to do the same (they refused) is a completely damning piece of evidence that is not in dispute at any level.

 

Not necessarily. Under the hypothesis that Iran has not done it, they would have wanted access to the witnesses, because having people in the area bombing ships is not really comforting.

 

 

latest reports indicate the crew that was being held has been released and flown to Dubai.

Iranian intelligence probably has enough information on the crew to be able to credibly threaten their families if need be.

At least the crew members are out of Iran. That is a good step.

 

Well we need to see what the crews say, what the iranian officials have asked them. this might tell us what Iran is up to.

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NATO won't want to know. Nobody was interested in Europe's opinion over the nuclear deal, it's a bit late to snap fingers and expect so allies to fall into line. After all, America doesn't need allies, right?

 

All that said, I'd be delighted to see the regime fall. All we need do is sit back and watch it happen. Piracy or maritime interdiction will change nothing.

Not a NATO issue. Beyond that, Europe doesn't want to know just like they didn't want to know 30 some years ago when Iran was targeting Kuwaiti tankers. Best to let the knuckle draggers form the west side of the Atlantic take care of it.

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Reports on CNN that Iran tried to shoot down a drone tracking it's boats, before the attack on the tankers.

 

How common is this drone presence? Drone is hardly ideal tool for naval reconnaissance task - at least US is regularly sending recon planes to waters around Crimea, but i do not remember US drone flights (unlike their regular "tours" to Donbass) Was the drone "tracking Iranian boats" in Iranian waters?

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latest reports indicate the crew that was being held has been released and flown to Dubai.

Iranian intelligence probably has enough information on the crew to be able to credibly threaten their families if need be.

 

Taking into account majority of crew members are reportedly Russian citizens, it is unlikely. They are reported by Rus media on the way home https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/6554789

 

Interesting all this was predicted by art

Edited by Roman Alymov
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NATO won't want to know. Nobody was interested in Europe's opinion over the nuclear deal, it's a bit late to snap fingers and expect so allies to fall into line. After all, America doesn't need allies, right?

 

All that said, I'd be delighted to see the regime fall. All we need do is sit back and watch it happen. Piracy or maritime interdiction will change nothing.

Not a NATO issue. Beyond that, Europe doesn't want to know just like they didn't want to know 30 some years ago when Iran was targeting Kuwaiti tankers. Best to let the knuckle draggers form the west side of the Atlantic take care of it.

 

 

 

And once again, completely and totally untrue.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armilla_patrol

The Royal Navy withdrew its forces from the Persian Gulf in 1971 in line with the United Kingdom's general retreat from imperial commitments. However, tensions in the area remained high and Royal Navy ships were still a frequent sight in the area. In 1980, war broke out between Iraq and Iran. In response to the increased danger to British shipping and other British interests, a Royal Navy escort vessel was sent to the Persian Gulf and at least one has remained there ever since. In addition to the surface combatant, the Royal Navy has also maintained an auxiliary of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) in the Persian Gulf.

During the Falklands war, the Royal New Zealand Navy dispatched frigates to carry out the Armilla patrol duties, freeing the British ships on station for service with the Royal Navy task force tasked with freeing the Falkland Islands from the Argentine invasion.

The Armilla patrol was praised by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a call was made in parliament for an Armilla Patrol Medal to go to those serving in the Patrol at the time in 1989.[1] Ships Companies were subsequently awarded the General Service Medal (Gulf) for patrol and escort duties between 17 November 1986 and 31 October 31 October 1988. Mine countermeasures ships were awarded the GSM for service between 1 November 1988 until 28 February 1989.

Typical Armilla patrol deployments lasted for six months or so, with the supporting RFA vessel sometimes spending an aggregate total of over a year in the area. The patrol was reinforced with an aircraft carrier or task group in times of high tension or British involvement in wartime operations or by frigates or destroyers transiting the area for other operations in the Far East or Pacific.

 

 

https://www.csmonitor.com/1987/0825/oholl.html

August 25, 1987

The surprising Dutch pledge to send ships to the Gulf to join American, British, and French ships there in defending oil tankers came late last week after the British publicly had criticized earlier Dutch refusal to do so.

Last Thursday in the Hague, the current WEU chairman, the Netherlands, conducted a one-day meeting on the Gulf of senior diplomats from the member nations of Britain, France, West Germany, Italy, and the Benelux countries.

After the meeting Minister of Foreign Affairs Hans van den Broek said the Netherlands will send naval vessels to the Gulf. Western diplomats see the move in part as a desire by the Dutch to use their WEU chairmanship to reassert the prominent role in Western alliance planning the Netherlands once played, despite its small size.

The Dutch move increases pressure on the reluctant Italians to join the Western flotilla in the Gulf. It does not increase pressure on the West Germans, since the allies are resigned to Bonn's plea of constitutional constraint on use of West German forces outside the immediate NATO area. While the West German Constitution says only that armed forces must be used exclusively for defense, the West German Navy would gladly define as ``defense'' participation in allied excursions outside NATO's immediate waters.

 

 

There is a difference between then and now. Now, none of us really need the oil from the region. There are plenty of places we can get it from. The US is also largely self sufficient in oil. Secondly, its a manufactured crisis. Whilst you can make a convincing case that the original tanker wars were an offshoot of the Iran/Iraq war and thus we were all equally innocent victims of it, this is a much harder sell. The present crisis, which yes, I still place entirely on the Iranian hands, initiated with the US decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal. A decision they took without deciding to consult allies over what would happen next. It was not hard to determine what would happen next. You only have to study a textbook on the history of the region in 1987-88.

 

America first. Quite right. So you go first then.

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Yeah, the WEU deployed a total of 29 vessels in "Operation Cleansweep" in from 1987 to 1990, half of them minesweepers, and continued coordinating mine-clearing operations in the Persian Gulf after the end of the Iran-Iraq War up to 1991, in part with the total of 45 ships enforcing the embargo against Iraq in the runup to Desert Storm.

 

Majority opinion on current events seems to be they are deliberate Iranian government moves to send a signal to the West, making use of the Trump administration's paralyzis due to its contradictory policies of non-interventionism and military threats against Iran, quitting the JCPOA while offering talks, etc.; but not just aimed at the US but also the Europeans, which they have accused of not doing enough to keep the agreement working, recently announcing that Iran would resume uranium enrichment. They're probably betting that they could suck up anything the West could throw at them with its lead power constricted by Trump's base, like some Syrian-style cruise missile barrages.

 

Regarding economic effects - sure, neither the US nor Europe are as dependent upon Gulf oil anymore as they used to be, but trouble in the Strait of Hormuz would result in price hikes for everybody as main receivers would seek compensation from other sources.

Edited by BansheeOne
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The plot thickens. Katada's account is based on eyewitness reports of Filipino crewmembers, for what they are worth.

 

Can I read that somewhere?

 


 

 

Yeah, the WEU deployed a total of 29 vessels in "Operation Cleansweep" in from 1987 to 1990, half of them minesweepers, and continued coordinating mine-clearing operations in the Persian Gulf after the end of the Iran-Iraq War up to 1991, in part with the total of 45 ships enforcing the embargo against Iraq in the runup to Desert Storm.

 

Majority opinion on current events seems to be they are deliberate Iranian government moves to send a signal to the West, making use of the Trump administration's paralyzis due to its contradictory policies of non-interventionism and military threats against Iran, quitting the JCPOA while offering talks, etc.; but not just aimed at the US but also the Europeans, which they have accused of not doing enough to keep the agreement working, recently announcing that Iran would resume uranium enrichment. They're probably betting that they could suck up anything the West could throw at them with its lead power constricted by Trump's base, like some Syrian-style cruise missile barrages.

 

Certainly looks like a motive for Iran.

 

Regarding economic effects - sure, neither the US nor Europe are as dependent upon Gulf oil anymore as they used to be, but trouble in the Strait of Hormuz would result in price hikes for everybody as main receivers would seek compensation from other sources.

 

Yup, I have just filled up my car and a few jerry cans to buffer the expected price hike. Will not last long, but still.

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