Update: According to Al- Jazeera, the oil tanker was attacked. According to a statement by the Agari operators, the oil tanker was attacked by an “unknown source.”
Latest reports from Saudi Arabia indicate that an oil tanker has been subjected to an attack at the Red Sea. Reports say, “Oil tanker Agrari attacked while at berth in Saudi Arabian Red Sea, tanker suffered breat but no reported pollution according to TMS tankers ,” The oil tanker was reportedly hit while at Berth.
Reports: Oil tanker attacked in Saudi Arabia
No further details are known at this point. An Israeli journalist tweeted, “#BREAKING: Mine explodes, damaging Agrari oil tanker off Saudi Arabia near Yemen border in Red Sea: tanker suffered breat but no reported pollution according to TMS tankers.” A private security firm has confirmed the reports of a mine explosion that damaged an oil tanker near Yemen border at the Red Sea, the oil tanker belonged to Saudi Arabia.
Reports suggest that the tanker was preparing to depart when it was attacked. At the time of the attack, the oil tanker was stable with no cargo on board. The ship was breached as a result of the explosion.
Another media outlet tweeted, “Reports of this have been circulating since the early hours of this morning. Details have been, and still are pretty vague and unknown.” He added, “There is a lot to this story that is weird, more so the fact that she’s currently at the port in Shuquaiq, KSA, which is north of Jazan.”
Ambrey, a British based firm was the first to report the explosion. The ship’s operators referred The Associated Press to a spokesman who did not clarify the air nor made any comment regarding the situation. This explosion surfaces after a cruise missile was fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The missile struck an oil facility located in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia.
Tensions at the Red Sea
The Saudi-led coalition reported this explosion by Houthi rebels on Tuesday, they stated that it eliminated and destroyed five Iranian manufactured naval mines. The mines were planted by Houthis near the southern Red Sea. The Saudi-led coalition condemned this attempted attack and said that attacks such as these are “a serious threat to maritime security in the Bab al-Mandab strait.”
The Houthis have not officially commented on the allegations nor accepted responsibility for it. Saudi Arabia officials did not immediately acknowledge the blast either. A Saudi-led coalition has been engaged in battling the Houthis rebels since the beginning of March, 2015.
A news outlet tweeted, “Mine explosion in Red Sea damages Maltese-flagged, Greek-managed oil tanker off Saudi Arabia’s coast near border with Yemen – security firm Ambrey.” Another reiterated, ” A private security firm says a mine exploded, damaging an oil tanker off #SaudiArabia near #Yemen border in Red Sea. Comes at a critical time as U.S. is considering designating #Iran-backed #Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization.”