The suspected sabotage of oil tankers puts the Persian Gulf on high alert

If the incident is tied to Tehran it would raise questions about whether harder-liners in Iran attempt to up the ante regionally

There are more questions than answers following an incident in the Gulf of Oman that could raise the stakes in a battle pitting Iran against its regional adversaries and the United States. On May 12, four oil tankers off the coast of the Emirati port of Fujairah suffered damage in what the United Arab Emirates has described as sabotage. A day later, Saudi Arabia confirmed an attack against two of its tankers, Amjad and Al Marzoqah. The other tankers involved included the Norwegian-flagged Andre Victoria, as well as a small Emirati bunkering tanker that had been supplying the Andre Victoria.

But details on what, exactly, transpired remain scant. Pictures have shown damage to the Emirati tanker, which may now be leaking bunkering fuel, while the Andre Victoria appears to have suffered damage to its hull from what looks like a possible collision. Authorities have yet to reveal the extent of the damage to the Saudi tankers, although initial reports suggested Al Marzoqah’s main engine caught fire.

Who Did It?

At this point, officials have yet to provide definitive proof that foul play actually occurred. If further investigation, or emerging evidence, does point to an attack of some kind, the ultimate identity of the culprits is likely to define the response to the incident.

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