Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said that two Saudi tankers were targeted in a “sabotage attack” off the coast of the UAE. Khalid Al-Falih said the two tankers were targeted off the coast of Fujairah. He explained that one tanker was en route to the Kingdom to be loaded with Saudi crude oil to send to the United States to supply Saudi Aramco customers.
“Fortunately, the attack didn’t lead to any casualties or oil spill; however, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels,” Al-Falih said. Al-Falih’s comments came as the US issued a new warning to sailors and the UAE’s regional allies condemned the reported sabotage of four ships off the coast of Fujairah.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Kingdom condemned the acts of sabotage that targeted commercial cargo ships near the territorial waters of the UAE. “This criminal act poses a serious threat to the security and safety of maritime traffic and negatively affects regional and international peace and security,” the ministry said.
US President Donald Trump warned Iran, saying that if Tehran does “anything” in the form of an attack “they will suffer greatly.” The incident involving Saudi ships raised risks for shippers in a region vital to global energy supplies at a time of increasing tensions between the US and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. Trump was asked about the sabotage, and responded: “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens.”
The Arab League condemned the attacks, describing them as a “crime” and added that the league would stand by the UAE and Saudi Arabia in their efforts to defend their security.The port of Fujairah continues to operate as normal and there were no victims of the sabotage incidentThe ministry added that targeting merchant ships and threatening the lives of crew members is a “dangerous development,” and that the government considers the acts of sabotage to be a threat to the safety and security of the UAE.