What Happened: Two oil tankers were damaged near the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, the U.S. Fifth Fleet has said, noting that one of the vessel's operators depicted the incident as an attack, Bloomberg reported. The price of Brent crude oil rose by as much as 4.5 percent in the wake of the incident.
Why It Matters: Given the recent attacks on other tankers in the region and the collective accusation that Iran was responsible, blame is likely to again fall on Tehran after this latest incident. Such events could easily ignite a full military confrontation between Iran and the United States.
Background: On May 12, four tankers in the Emirati port of Fujairah were damaged in an attack that Abu Dhabi blamed on a "state actor" without expressly identifying Tehran. Later that month, Iran's allies in Yemen, the Houthis, targeted Saudi Arabia's East-West pipeline in a drone attack, raising tensions between Tehran on one side and Riyadh and its allies on the other.