Yemen: Houthis target Saudi airports with drones - Houthi spokesperson

REUTERS  Mohamed al-Sayaghi  File

REUTERS Mohamed al-Sayaghi File

Meanwhile, the CENTCOM said another surface-to-air missile - a modified SA-7 was shot a week later (Thursday, June 13) at another MQ-9 over the Gulf of Oman, but adding that it missed its target.

The British Foreign Office on Friday said in a statement that it concluded "it is nearly certain that a branch of the Iranian military", the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, attacked the tankers on Thursday.

Iran has summoned the British ambassador after London agreed with the US conclusion that Iran attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Some of the crew reported seeing two shots.

The United Arab Emirates' Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan called on world powers "to secure worldwide navigation and access to energy", a plea echoed by regional ally Saudi Arabia after the incident sent crude prices soaring.

The US military on Friday released grainy footage it said showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an "unexploded limpet mine" from the Japanese vessel. Iran has denied involvement.

Limpet mines are created to disable a vessel without sinking it.

Iran denies tanker attacks as tensions soar
An Iranian official, meanwhile, accused Washington of trying to destabilise relations between Iran and the worldwide community. In 2018, the USA pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal reached in 2015 that was aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear activities.

But Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo, theorized that a mine would have caused more widespread damage than what the Kokuka Courageous suffered, though he said, "This is just an assumption or a guess".

Neither crew was injured in the attacks on the Kokuka Courageous and Front Altair, and both were successfully evacuated that day. The Bainbridge picked up 21 sailors from the Japanese vessel.

The other ship, the Norwegian-operated Front Altair, has left Iran's territorial waters, multiple sources said. They were released and arrived in Dubai on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince called on the global community to take a "decisive stand" towards attacks on two oil tankers in a vital shipping route, which he blamed on Iran during an interview with Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat. Tehran also has threatened to begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels if European nations don't offer new terms for the nuclear agreement.

Iran has accused the USA of escalating tensions in the region and said American forces there are a destabilizing presence. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

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