All signs indicate that the attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on May 12 was a “sophisticated and coordinated operation”, which is why some believe a state actor organized the attack.
This according to the United Arab Emirates briefing to members of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.
The information was disclosed by the Emirates News Agency WAM.
The document was presented by the UAE, joined by Norway and Saudi Arabia, and it makes no mention of Iran, who the United States accused of orchestrating the attacks.
Emiratos Árabes Unidos manifestó en un comunicado a los miembros del Consejo de Seguridad de @UN que los ataques a cuatro buques de transporte de petróleo frente a sus costas el 12 de mayo tiene características de una “operación sofisticada y coordinada” por algún actor estatal. pic.twitter.com/mGardZ0Qfb
— Cambio16 (@Cambio16) June 7, 2019
The Permanent Representatives to the United Nations of the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Norway, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Thursday briefed members of the United Nations Security Council on the preliminary findings of the investigation into the events off the port of Fujairah.
The attacks took place within UAE territorial waters less than 12 nautical miles from the UAE coastline. UAE authorities have taken the lead in the investigation in coordination with several international partners.
Effects on commercial shipping
The affected states stressed that the attacks endangered international commercial navigation and the security of global energy supplies, and threatened international peace and security.
They also thanked Council members who had already rendered support to the investigation into the attacks. Additionally, they invited all members of the Council to review the evidence that has been secured by UAE authorities.
Furthermore, the UAE, Norway, and Saudi Arabia committed to keeping Council members apprised of further findings from the ongoing investigation and requested that the Security Council be seized of the matter.
Possible use of limpet mines
The assessment of the damage to the four vessels and the chemical analysis of the debris recovered revealed it was highly likely that limpet mines were used in the attacks on the four vessels on May, 12 2019, the statement revealed.
Limpet is a type of naval mine that is attached to a target with a magnet.
“Based on the evaluation of radar data, and the short time several of the targeted vessels had been at anchor prior to the attacks, it appears most likely that the mines were placed on the vessels by divers deployed from fast boats,” it added.
Ratcheting up his criticism of Tehran, John Bolton tied the reported attacks on oil vessels at the mouth of the Persian Gulf to “naval mines almost certainly from Iran” https://t.co/5WkoAMAMBH
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) May 29, 2019
State actor could behind the oil tankers attack
The joint statement said that “these facts are strong indications that the four attacks were part of a sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out by an actor with significant operational capacity, most likely a state actor.”
This report details a series of data that points to the following conclusions:
- The attacks required intelligence capabilities for the deliberate selection of four oil tankers. Almost 200 vessels of all types that lay at anchor off Fujairah at the time of the attacks.
- One of the targets was at the opposite end of the anchorage area from the other ships. This indicates that these were premeditated strikes, rather than targets picked at random.
- The attacks likely required the positive identification of these pre-selected targets by the operatives carrying out the attacks.
- On the other hand, the attacks required trained divers; the explosive charges were placed with a high degree of precision under the waterline, in ways that were designed to incapacitate the ships without sinking them or detonating their cargoes – indicating minute knowledge of the design of the targeted ships.
- The aggression required a high degree of coordination among what most likely were several teams of operatives. This included the timed detonation of all four explosive charges, sequenced within less than an hour.
- The attacks required the expert navigation of fast boats, with understanding of the geographic area, that were able to intrude into UAE territorial waters and to exfiltrate the operatives after delivering the explosive charges.
For more information, check Energía16