Tuesday 03 August 2021
Days after the accident of the Israeli oil tanker “Mercer Street” off the coast of Oman, which killed two Britons and a Romanian, ships off the coast of the Fujairah region of the United Arab Emirates were subjected to a “possible hijacking operation” on Tuesday.
The British Maritime Trade Agency reported that a “potential hijacking” was unfolding off the coast of Fujairah, after it issued a warning to ships to exercise extreme caution in that area.
Reuters news agency reported, on Tuesday, that at least 5 ships in the Gulf issued alerts stating that they had “lost command control” and that case indicated that the ship was unable to maneuver due to exceptional conditions, according to ship tracking data from the tracking website “Refinitiv”. “.
Reuters said that it had not been able to confirm whether all the data for those ships on the Refinitiv website was related to the same accident or not.
The ships “Golden Brilliant”, tankers “Kamdhino”, “Jag Buga” and “Abyss” reported around the same time via their automatic identification system tracking devices that they were “not under command”.
Following the warnings issued by the ships, the British Maritime Trade Operations Authority announced that it cannot comment on the reported incidents until accurate information is available, and that it investigates and scrutinizes the information circulating.
The British authority has not ruled out a “possible hijacking” incident, explaining that a number of ships in the Gulf of Oman are not in the places that are currently circulating in the news.
And “Sky News” Arabiya quoted British naval security sources as saying that Iranian-backed forces had seized a ship in the Gulf of Oman, adding that a group of 8 or 9 armed individuals had boarded the ship “Asphalt Princess” and seized it.
The British newspaper, The Times, quoted naval security sources as saying that there is a belief that Iranian forces or proxies of Tehran have seized the ship.
In turn, the Iranian Foreign Ministry commented on the events, saying that reports of security incidents involving ships near the Gulf coast are suspicious, warning against exploiting them for political purposes.
For its part, Britain announced that it had opened an urgent investigation into the incident of the “Asphalt Princess” ship in the Gulf of Oman, expressing its belief that the ship had been hijacked.
A few days ago, an oil tanker operated by an Israeli company was attacked in the Arabian Sea by a drone, which killed two people, one British and the other Romanian. Israel, Britain and the United States have blamed Iran, which denies any connection to the attack.