Two Supertankers on Fire in Gulf Of Oman. Iranian and U.S. Navies Respond. Conflicting Reports.

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(Above: Oil Tanker “Front Altair.”)

Two oil tankers are currently on fire in the Gulf of Oman, to the east of the Straits of Hormuz at the entrance to the Indian Ocean.

The incidents are variously described as “attacks” or “explosions” and though there are also reports that the Front Altair has sunk, the owners, Norway’s Frontline Shipping, is saying the crew is safe and the ship still afloat.

The incidents occurred here:

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I think The Independent’s reporting is pretty balanced….

“Gulf of Oman ‘attack’: Oil tankers ‘on fire’ amid rising tensions between Iran and rivals

“Crew members of two fuel supertankers in the Gulf of Oman have been evacuated to safety after their ships were reportedly stricken and set ablaze Thursday amid rising hostility between Iran and its adversaries.

Iranian state news agency IRNA reported that the Front Altair oil tanker had sunk in the attack. The damaged tanker is thought to loaded with 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a flammable oil.

However, a spokesperson from Frontline, in charge of the tanker, confirmed to The Independent that the vessel had not sunk “and is safely afloat.”

Konkuka Courageous, sailing from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, and the Front Altair, which had loaded fuel in the United Arab Emirates, sent distress signals after sustaining damage shortly after transiting from the Strait of Hormuz, according to news reports and company officials cited by international media.

Iranian media cited sources saying the damage was caused by explosions in quick succession. There was no claim of responsibility for any attack.

The owners of the Kokuka Courageous issued a statement saying it was carrying a cargo of ethanol and that the ships hull had been breached “as a result of the suspected attack.”

Just based on the photo above I come down on the side of on-board explosions.

But I suspect, given their other woes, this admin will be out there flogging the horse, wagging the dog and generally obfuscating by dawn’s early light.

I hope I am wrong.

Hell of a thing when you can’t trust your own government to tell the truth.

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