Blast hits oil tanker on Red Sea off Saudi Arabia

26 Novembre, 2020, 13:03 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Saudi coalition ‘foils terrorist act’ on oil tanker near Yemen

A few hours after the incident, state TV reported that Saudi-led coalition forces were destroying an explosives-laden boat and a commercial vessel was damaged in the process.

Ambrey, a British security firm, reported the blast and attributed it to a mine. "It is possible [that it was from a mine], certainly it was a blast". "The ship is in good condition, everyone is OK". It did not say when the incident happened but noted the vessel had arrived at al-Shuqaiq on November 23.

"It was attacked by an unknown source ... after completion of her discharging and preparing to depart", it said.

The statement from the Agrari's operators said the vessel was struck "about one metre above the waterline and has suffered a breach".

The ship that had cargo from the Dutch port city of Rotterdam did not sink and Saudi officials went on board for inspections.

The Agrari is an aframax crude oil tanker, data on TMS Tankers website showed.

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The Red Sea is a vital shipping lane for both cargo and the global energy supplies, making any mining of the area a danger not only to Saudi Arabia but to the rest of the world. So far, the Houthis have made no comment on the attack.

"There's definitely an uptick of attacks from the Yemen side of the border onto Saudi Arabia to try and attempt to send a signal that it's not just in the Strait of Hormuz and in the Persian Gulf that Iran has the ability to undermine Saudi oil interests and naval activities", said Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa at Eurasia Group, which advises clients on political risk.

Two weeks ago, a fire near a floating platform belonging to the Jazan oil products terminal was contained with no injuries.

The explosion comes after a cruise missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels struck an oil facility in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Iranian-backed Houthis since March 2015.

Houthi leader Muhammed Ali Houthi did not explicitly deny the attack, but said in a tweet that any military or security operations are announced through military and security establishments officially.

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