What Happened: The United Arab Emirates has reported that four commercial vessels have suffered "sabotage operations" just off the coast of the Emirati port city of Fujairah, AP reported May 12.
Why It Matters: The extent of the incident, the damage to the vessels and the origin of potential perpetrators remain unclear and Abu Dhabi has not yet voiced any accusations as it is conducting its own investigation. No one has thus far claimed responsibility for the incident and regional powers have reacted cautiously to the development.
Background: The incident occurs amid an unprecedented deepening of economic and military pressure from the United States on Iran in recent weeks. The last bombing of a tanker in the region occurred in 2010, which has been claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group in the Levant.
- Iran Is Inching Away From the Nuclear Deal. What Happens Now? (May 8, 2019)
- Iran Faces Bleak Options as the U.S. Turns the Screws (April 24, 2019)
- By Targeting Iran's IRGC, Trump Goes Where No Other Administration Has (April 9, 2019)