An oil tanker damaged by mine off Saudi coast stoking tensions with Iran

A mine explosion damaged a a Maltese-flagged Greek oil tanker near the Saudi Red Sea coast on Wednesday. On Sunday, the Saudi-led coalition said it had destroyed four sites used for assembling remote-controlled boats and Iranian-made sea mines planted in the southern Red Sea.

On Friday, Riyadh reported that four oil tankers – two Saudi, one Norwegian and one Emirati – were sabotaged while at anchor off the coast of the UAE. An American military team’s initial assessment indicated Iran or Iranian allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships.

The tanker explosion came after a Houthi drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline and parts of its energy infrastructure on the western coast. The Houthis are using increasingly sophisticated drones. One captured in April closely resembled an Iranian-made UAV of a type that is being flown into the radar arrays of Saudi Patriot missile batteries and disabling them ahead of ballistic missile attacks.

Earlier this week, the Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation north of Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah.

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