Posted on May 14, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Initial reports of the events that took place on the 12th of May, in the United Arab Emirates, indicate that explosive charges or limpet mines were the primary culprits used in the sabotage attacks.
While Gulf officials have declined at this moment to comment on the alleged sabotage attack on the four vessels, some senior US officials have been more forthcoming with the results of their investigation.
In a statement to AP, a senior US official out of Washington who wishes to remain unnamed said that an American military team’s initial assessment was that Iran, or in the very least, Iranian allies were behind the attack.
He went on to suggest that explosive charges were used to blow holes in the vessels. The initial findings of divers who were sent to the vessels in order to assess the extent of the damage suggest that limpet mines might have been used in the attack.
For reference, limpet mines are explosive charges that use magnets in order to attach themselves to the hull of a ship.
The four vessels, of which two are Saudi Arabian, one is Norwegian, and one is Emirati, all received damage to their stern area. The explosives blew holes in the hull of the vessels ranging from 1.5 to 3 meters in size, just below the waterline.
While the vessels have received extensive damage due to the attacks, they all remain afloat and haven’t shown any sign of considerable water ingress. However, one of the vessels has been shown to list to one side.
While this latest incident raises questions as to the level of maritime security in the UAE, time will tell whether this is a one-off incident or a sign of things to come.
You can read the original story here.