U.S. aircraft saw Iranian militants rob hijacked tankers of something during the seven-hour incident: Official


Image of a tanker now known as the Asphalt Princess

An image of a tanker, now known as the Asphalt Princess, hijacked on Tuesday. Distribution via Kevin D. Majewski / REUTERS

  • Iranian armed groups are suspected of temporarily hijacking a tanker in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday.

  • They forced them into the ship, attacked the crew, and departed about seven hours later, US officials said.

  • Officials said they saw a US aircraft robbing the ship when the Iranians left.

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U.S. officials told insiders that Iranian armed groups hijacked the tanker’s asphalt princess on Tuesday, attacked the crew and destroyed the equipment before leaving the ship in a hurry.

Armed groups in Iran’s Coast Guard uniforms were forced to board the ship for about seven hours before leaving the scene, officials said.

“Our aircraft filmed Iranian militants on board and observed them removing something from the ship as they departed,” officials added. Of international piracy

A US Navy guided-missile destroyer was dispatched to the area, but did not arrive until the armed groups left. It contacted the crew and reported that the members had been assaulted and the master had been struck by a gun.

“We are suffering from a temporary forced seizure of the M / V asphalt princess by Iranian militants,” a US Central Command spokesman told insiders. “We are investigating the case, but we do not understand what the Iranians were doing at this time and why they would prevent the passage of this legitimate commercial vessel.”

The Royal Navy’s ability to trade British maritime trade, Reported Tuesday that “the incident is currently underway” in the Gulf of Oman..

According to a subsequent update, the unexplained incident was “upgraded to a potential hijacking.” A few hours later, a British agency reported that “the boarder left the ship” and “the ship is safe.”

When I talked to reporters on Wednesday, Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, said: “We can see that the staff has left the Asphalt Princess, a Panama-flagged vessel that was seized yesterday.”

A spokesman said the boarding party was believed to have been Iranian, although he did not confirm their nationality.

In the recording of the maritime radio conversation between the tanker crew and the Emirati Coast Guard, Associated Press and sharingThe crew can hear five or six armed Iranians saying they have boarded a tanker.

The Times quoted a source from the British government and said “The Iranians boarded the ship and tried to bring it back to Iran, but the crew scooped up the engine,” he said, “swaying in the water” and unable to go anywhere. Telegraph reported the same. Armed groups have reportedly departed as foreign warships have begun to move into the region.

Iran has denied involvement in the case on Tuesday. Iran’s Foreign Minister Saeed Khatibzadeh said the reported case was “totally suspicious.” He argued that Iran has “a strong commitment to regional stability and maritime security” and is “ready to provide assistance” in emergencies.

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