On June 13th, two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, with both ships suffering some damage and their crews being evacuated. The US Navy said it received a call from the Front Altair saying it had been attacked at 03:12 GMT, when it was 19 nautical miles (35km) south of Iran’s coast, while the Kokuka Courageous reported being hit at 04:00, 21 nautical miles off Iran.
The US immediately after the incident blamed Iran for what had happened, saying that it was an Iranian limpet mine.
The US military said a US aircraft observed an Iranian Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Hendijan class patrol boat and several IRGC fast attack craft in the vicinity of the Front Altair. Initially a grainy black and white video was uploaded, allegedly showing that Iran carried out the attack.
On June 17th, the Pentagon released two reports – one providing a timeline of the incident, while the other one provided more photographs allegedly showing that the Iranians were guilty.
Other proof were separate pictures of the damages on the Kokuka Courages, one of the two attacked tankers.
There was really no conclusive evidence that the damages were caused by a mine, and even if it was a mine that Iran had set it in the Gulf of Oman.
The company did not speculate on the cause of the damage to the Kokuka Courageous. But the president of the vessel’s owner, Japanese firm Kokuka Sangyo, reported that it was hit by two explosions in the space of three hours before the crew were evacuated.
Yutaka Katada told reporters on 14 June that he believed the tanker was hit by a “flying object”.
“The crew told us something came flying at the ship, and they found a hole,” he said. “Then some crew witnessed the second shot.”
It is uncertain if whether Iran has some special naval mines that actually come flying through the skies to attack an “enemy” ship, but who knows, really.
At the same time, the US military accused Iran of attempting to shoot down a US MQ-9 Reaper armed drone with a surface-to-air missile in an attempt to disrupt surveillance of one of the tankers that was attacked, the Kokuka Courageous.
The MQ-9 carries a variety of weapons including the GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb, the AGM-114 Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles, the AIM-9 Sidewinder, and the GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).
So, the Front Altair and the Kokuka Courages were surely not the only tankers in the Persian Gulf, or even in the Gulf of Oman at that time, but the MQ-9 was surveilling both of them for some reason, and it was there to allegedly film the Iranian actions, together with a Navy MH-60R Seahawk. The MH-60R Seahawk’s weaponry also includes Mk-54 air-launched torpedoes and Hellfire missiles.
This information could allow to speculate on another version of events, as colonelcassad blog has already done.
According to these speculations, the holes in the ships may have been made by an air-to-surface missile of some sort. For example, a Hellfire missile, which both the MQ-9 Reaper and the MH-60R Seahawk are usually armed with.
It was unlikely a torpedo attack, since the damage is above the waterline. Speculations circulating in social media also alleged that Iran has the wreckage of an American Hellfire rocket, which is the standard armament of the MQ-9 Reaper UAV.
This is further reinforced by the crew and captain of the Kokuka Courageous saw flying objects moving towards the ship.
There is a video of the US Air Force shooting the old USS Buchanan destroyer with Harpoon anti-ship missiles, as well as Hellfire missiles. It clearly shows damages caused to the ship’s hull by the Hellfire missiles, at approximately 2 minutes and 10 seconds.
Provided are also screenshots from the video:
Similar to the damages of the Kokuka Courageous, the footage shows a small hole with torn edges curved towards the inside.
There is no conclusive evidence to prove any of this (as well as the US version), but one may consider the following:
- The US has no real pretext to start a war with Iran or to attack its infrastructure in the region. This calls for some more pro-active and inventive undertakings by Washington’s hawks;
- It could have been a MQ-9 Reaper or a MH-60R Seahawk shooting a some kind of air-to-surface missile, which led to the fire and the damage. There was no aim to actually sink the tankers;
- The scene was set for the accusations, since Iran was also blamed for the earlier sabotage of 4 tankers off the coast of Fujairah, but there was no conclusive evidence back then;
- The attack could not be made from the Iranian coast. So, it was carried out from international waters;
- Since it would be reasonable to ask why there were no Iranian aircraft or UAVs on the radars, a scene with a mine attached to the tanker’s hull was staged;
- After the missiles hit the tankers, Iranian rescuers arrived at the scene of the attack and removed the crew from one of them – from the Front Altair, which really did happen. The Kokuka Courageous’ crew was rescued by the US. And it was that ship that was approached by a US Destroyer and its crew saw the flying objects.
- MSM and the US go into full hysteria and Iran is found guilty, no trial, no judge, no jury;
- The United States certainly cannot admit that they attacked Japanese tankers in order to provoke a war with Iran. Washington continues to talk about the mine, ignoring remarks by the crew members.
This is just one of the versions that may have been created using the holes in the Iranian limpet mine attack. However, it seems that the mainstream media and US regional allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel are satisfied with the provided “evidence” and already decided that Iran was the side behind the tankers incident.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Pentagon Released More ‘Evidence’ To Support Claims That Iran Was Behind Oil Tanker Attack
- Japanese Tanker Owner Denies Ship Hit By Mine, Says Crew Saw “Flying Objects” Before Attack
- Trump Says Tanker Attack Has “Iran Written All Over It” As Tehran Slams US “False Flag”
- Smoking Gun? False Flag? U.S. Releases Video Allegedly Showing Iran’s Mine On Tanker Hull