The biggest warship of the Iranian Navy caught fire and sank in the Gulf under unclear circumstances Oman Semi-official news agencies have given this information on Wednesday.
The Fars and Tasnim agencies said efforts to rescue the support ship Kharag, named after the island that served as Iran’s main oil terminal, had failed.
Fars said the fire started around 2:25 a.m. and firefighters tried to put it under control. The ship sank off the Iranian port of Jaskan, near the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow mouth of the Gulf.
Images circulated on Iranian social media of sailors in lifejackets escorting the ship as a fire burning behind them. State TV and semi-government news agencies referred to Kharag as a “training ship”. Fars published a video of thick, dark smoke emanating from the ship early Wednesday.
Satellite images from Planet Labs Inc., analyzed by the Associated Press, showed Kharag to the west of Jask on Tuesday. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites tracking fires from space also detected a fire at the site.
Kharag is one of the few ships of the Iranian Navy capable of resupplying other ships at sea. It can also lift heavy cargo and serve as a launch point for helicopters. The ship, built in Britain and launched in 1977, entered the Iranian Navy in 1984 after lengthy negotiations following Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Iran’s navy usually patrols the Gulf of Oman and the wider seas, while the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard operates in the shallow waters of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. In recent months, however, the Navy launched a slightly larger commercial tanker called the Makran, which was converted to perform a similar function to the Kharag.
Iranian officials gave no cause for the fire, but it follows a series of mysterious explosions targeting ships in the Gulf of Oman that began in 2019. The US later accused Iran of targeting ships with lame mines.
Iran denied targeting the ships, although US footage showed members of the Revolutionary Guards removing a lame mine from a ship. These incidents have come at a time when tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased due to the unilateral form of Donald Trump. US withdraws from Iran nuclear deal with world powers.
MV Saviz, an Iranian ship considered a Revolutionary Guard base and anchored for years in Yemen’s Red Sea targeted in the attack In April the work of Israel was suspected. This escalated the shadow war between the two countries in the waters of the Middle East for years.
The sinking of Kharag marks the latest naval disaster for Iran. In 2020, during a military training exercise, a missile accidentally collided with a naval vessel Near the port of Jask, 19 sailors were killed and 15 wounded. In 2018, an Iranian naval destroyer sank in the Caspian Sea.
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