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Torpedoed Tankers

false flag or real?

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#41 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1021 AM

note that Iran is holding the other crew which means that the crew has information that Iran doesn't want to come to light.  They may be able to buy their silence or get it with threats.  Either way, a quicker release is better for the crew and worse for Iran.

I look for Iran to hold them as long as they can


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#42 Daan

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1048 AM

 

 

Okay, could be a rogue element wanting the battle at the end of times or maybe to unseat the current president of iran?  :unsure:

 

The concept of a 'rogue element' is unnecessary.

 

The renewed US sanctions have hurt Iran badly and the country has recently been complaining about the lack of effort by other countries to develop attractive mechanisms to circumvent these sanctions. The spade of attacks on tankers is squarely aimed at these European and Asian nations. Iran is reminding them what it can do when it is neglected: high energy prices, reduced economic growth. 

 

Iran probably estimates the US government is bound by the desire to keep things quiet with the upcoming elections and Trump's promises not to dive into a new foreign adventure. If the US would decide to respond with force, Iran can quickly ramp it up to a tanker war, which implies high prices at the gas station, foreign condemnations and a renewed US involved conflict in the Middle East with no clear ending without substantial US concessions and loss of face for Trump during an election campaign.

 

Of course Iran will incur substantial costs if it would choose to escalate, but game theory learns that a seemingly irrational position may lead to  substantial payoffs if the opponent blinks first.


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#43 Nobu

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1049 AM

A situation similar to a terror attack that no group has come forward to claim responsibility for. The investigation trail in these instances usually begins with who benefits and who does not.

 

Piecing together the picture of who sent the equivalent of X Flotilla MAS into action at the same time Abe was extending an olive branch to Tehran is going to be interesting.


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#44 Panzermann

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1156 AM

 

 

 

Okay, could be a rogue element wanting the battle at the end of times or maybe to unseat the current president of iran?  :unsure:

 

The concept of a 'rogue element' is unnecessary.

 

The renewed US sanctions have hurt Iran badly and the country has recently been complaining about the lack of effort by other countries to develop attractive mechanisms to circumvent these sanctions. The spade of attacks on tankers is squarely aimed at these European and Asian nations. Iran is reminding them what it can do when it is neglected: high energy prices, reduced economic growth. 

 

Iran probably estimates the US government is bound by the desire to keep things quiet with the upcoming elections and Trump's promises not to dive into a new foreign adventure. If the US would decide to respond with force, Iran can quickly ramp it up to a tanker war, which implies high prices at the gas station, foreign condemnations and a renewed US involved conflict in the Middle East with no clear ending without substantial US concessions and loss of face for Trump during an election campaign.

 

Of course Iran will incur substantial costs if it would choose to escalate, but game theory learns that a seemingly irrational position may lead to  substantial payoffs if the opponent blinks first.

 

 

hm, put that way it makes sense. Reminds me of North Korean tactics to squeeze concessions from its neighbours and the USA.


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#45 Daan

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1237 PM



note that Iran is holding the other crew which means that the crew has information that Iran doesn't want to come to light.  They may be able to buy their silence or get it with threats.  Either way, a quicker release is better for the crew and worse for Iran.

I look for Iran to hold them as long as they can

The USN has released a timeline, which has some interesting information:

 

At 9:26 a.m. local time the Iranians requested that the motor vessel Hyundai Dubai, which had rescued the sailors from the M/T Altair, to turn the crew over to the Iranian FIACs. The motor vessel Hyundai Dubai complied with the request and transferred the crew of the M/T Altair to the Iranian FIACs.

 

and

 

At 11:05 a.m. local time USS Bainbridge approaches the Dutch tug Coastal Ace, which had rescued the crew of twenty-one sailors from the M/T Kokuka Courageous who had abandoned their ship after discovering a probable unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.

While the Hendijan patrol boat appeared to attempt to get to the tug Coastal Ace before USS Bainbridge, the mariners were rescued by USS Bainbridge at the request of the master of the M/T Kokuka Courageous.

 

So, Iran successfully 'requested' a hand over of the crew of the M/T Altair and seems to have intended to capture the crew of the M/T Kokuka Courageous, but failed.


Edited by Daan, 14 June 2019 - 1237 PM.

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#46 Colin

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1428 PM

Im guessing that something that far above the waterline is an ATGM, perhaps fired by a Boghammar. Although all the footage so far has been shit, so its pretty hard to make any determination about what happened.

That's roughly a man height standing in a small boat.


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#47 Josh

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1431 PM

The images show the mine being removed from a similar height.
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#48 Adam Peter

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1640 PM

The attack is conveniently close to Iranian waters and far from most of the traffic:

 

That's interesting, it would be useful to know who plotted the course of the two ships. Were they led to the attackers? Have they exploded themselves? As half of the crews in Iran, half in US hands, maybe we will know.


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#49 JasonJ

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1840 PM

The attack is conveniently close to Iranian waters and far from most of the traffic:

 
That's interesting, it would be useful to know who plotted the course of the two ships. Were they led to the attackers? Have they exploded themselves? As half of the crews in Iran, half in US hands, maybe we will know.

To see whether or not the course is abnormal or not would really require seeing the movements of commercial ships for the whole day, each day of the week for around the previous 2-4 weeks. The picture is just one instant of time in a single day. The plotted course does look to appear to avoid Fujairah port. As a ship not going into the busy port, probably makes sense to stay clear of it, keep speed at constant pace rather than have to reduce and dodge the ships in the congested area.
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#50 Colin

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1904 PM

If you have paid access to AIS, you can go back and look at tracks.


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#51 Burncycle360

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 1941 PM

Just speculation, but it may have been a case of wrong place / wrong time for the targeted ships.   The local time of the distress signal was 0612, and it was about 20 miles off shore from Jask, so the small boats may have assembled and set out under cover of darkness at the nearest thing they could find via open source intel (AIS information) under cover of twilight (local sunrise is 0550), so the arrival coincides just as they had light to work with.  The distress signal for the other vessel was almost an hour later and it was about 10 nautical miles away at the time.

Jask also houses those sorts of craft (this is from 05 JUN 2019), one appears to be a Hendijan class vessel below and to the left of the two La Combattante IIa missile boats on the upper left side, and possibly a couple of tiny Gashti class fast boats top center. 

rpFJuoZ.png
 


Edited by Burncycle360, 14 June 2019 - 1945 PM.

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#52 Ivanhoe

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 2200 PM

 

Wrw again!

 

Right? That guy is a conflict magnet. He's off my hypothetical wedding invite list.

 

 

First time I've seen the word "magnet" used to mean "catalyst."

 

We can only speculate who he has on his satphone speeddial settings.


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#53 Josh

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 2313 PM

I think you're over thinking things.


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#54 RETAC21

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 0345 AM

 

The attack is conveniently close to Iranian waters and far from most of the traffic:

 

That's interesting, it would be useful to know who plotted the course of the two ships. Were they led to the attackers? Have they exploded themselves? As half of the crews in Iran, half in US hands, maybe we will know.

 

 

I don't think the course itself would be abnormal for tankers going to the Far East, and anyone with AIS can track a ship real time.


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#55 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 0436 AM

Reports on CNN that Iran tried to shoot down a drone tracking it's boats, before the attack on the tankers.

Also, Iran is impeding salvage efforts on one of the tankers.
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#56 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 0442 AM

Im guessing that something that far above the waterline is an ATGM, perhaps fired by a Boghammar. Although all the footage so far has been shit, so its pretty hard to make any determination about what happened.

That's roughly a man height standing in a small boat.

Yeah, most likely explanation.
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#57 BansheeOne

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 0548 AM

The USN has released a timeline, which has some interesting information:

 

At 9:26 a.m. local time the Iranians requested that the motor vessel Hyundai Dubai, which had rescued the sailors from the M/T Altair, to turn the crew over to the Iranian FIACs. The motor vessel Hyundai Dubai complied with the request and transferred the crew of the M/T Altair to the Iranian FIACs.

 

and

 

At 11:05 a.m. local time USS Bainbridge approaches the Dutch tug Coastal Ace, which had rescued the crew of twenty-one sailors from the M/T Kokuka Courageous who had abandoned their ship after discovering a probable unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.

While the Hendijan patrol boat appeared to attempt to get to the tug Coastal Ace before USS Bainbridge, the mariners were rescued by USS Bainbridge at the request of the master of the M/T Kokuka Courageous.

 

So, Iran successfully 'requested' a hand over of the crew of the M/T Altair and seems to have intended to capture the crew of the M/T Kokuka Courageous, but failed.

 

That Iranian state TV reportedly has shown a video of Front Altair's crew assuring they're in good health and thanking Iran for its hospitality doesn't exactly reassure me about their status. Frontline has said they're working with the authorities and embassies of several countries to bring them home ASAP (their nationalities are stated as eleven each Russians and Fillipinos plus one Georgian).

 

The fire on Front Altair is reported extinguished, but the ship has suffered "immense" damage. A salvage team has been flown in to coordinate the effort on behalf of the insurers. Maybe we'll hear more details soon.


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#58 glenn239

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 0736 AM

A situation similar to a terror attack that no group has come forward to claim responsibility for. The investigation trail in these instances usually begins with who benefits and who does not.

 

Piecing together the picture of who sent the equivalent of X Flotilla MAS into action at the same time Abe was extending an olive branch to Tehran is going to be interesting.

 

All the USN has to do is release the entire drone video, since the boat itself must have sailed back to some port somewhere after the attack.  Was that port in Iran?


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#59 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 0935 AM

It may be best to trickle out the evidence to make Iran's denials less plausible.

 

How many ships can the USN deploy to create a rapid response screen?  We should already have the ability to track everything that moves in the Gulf.

The best move for now would be to let Iran keep it up for a time while the US builds an ironclad case and hands it off to the NATO allies.  Just use everything to increase sanction leverage as the sanctions are really biting now.

The Iranian economy is in trouble and that is why they are lashing out.  Best news yet is that oil prices haven't changed much, maybe 4-6%.  The Ayatollah's people have stepped on their rug with muddy feet this time.


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#60 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 0954 AM

NATO won't want to know. Nobody was interested in Europe's opinion over the nuclear deal, it's a bit late to snap fingers and expect so allies to fall into line. After all, America doesn't need allies, right?

All that said, I'd be delighted to see the regime fall. All we need do is sit back and watch it happen. Piracy or maritime interdiction will change nothing.
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