Pompeo says Iran attacked oil tankers to raise global oil price

Pompeo says Iran attacked oil tankers to raise global oil price
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday accused Iran of orchestrating attacks on oil tankers this month at the Arabian Gulf in an effort to raise the price of oil worldwide. (AFP file photo)
Updated 31 May 2019

Pompeo says Iran attacked oil tankers to raise global oil price

Pompeo says Iran attacked oil tankers to raise global oil price

WASHINGTON:  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, saying it was an effort by Tehran to raise the global price of oil.
“These were efforts by the Iranians to raise the price of crude oil throughout the world,” Pompeo told reporters shortly before leaving on a trip to Europe.
He suggested he had seen evidence of Iran’s involvement cited earlier on Thursday by White House National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Speaking in London, Bolton said evidence that Iran was behind the attacks would be presented to the United Nations Security Council next week.
Asked if he had seen the evidence, Pompeo said: “Oh yes. Ambassador Bolton got it right.”
Arab leaders are meeting in the Saudi city of Makkah to discuss drone strikes on oil installations in Saudi Arabia and attacks on four vessels, including two Saudi tankers, off the UAE coast earlier this month.
Tehran has denied involvement.
US envoy to Iran Brian Hook on Thursday warned that the United States will respond with military force if its interests are attacked by Iran.


8-year-old girl born under Daesh control to return to US

Aminah Mohamad, 8, pictured during an interview with ICSVE in northeast Syria on July 31. (Credit: icsve.org)
Aminah Mohamad, 8, pictured during an interview with ICSVE in northeast Syria on July 31. (Credit: icsve.org)
Updated 17 min 59 sec ago

8-year-old girl born under Daesh control to return to US

Aminah Mohamad, 8, pictured during an interview with ICSVE in northeast Syria on July 31. (Credit: icsve.org)
  • Aminah Mohammed’s mother and father were killed while members of terror group
  • Rescued from Syrian camp with help from US diplomat and Canadian former Daesh member

LONDON: An American-born girl who grew up under the control of Daesh is set to be returned to the US from a Syrian detention camp, a former diplomat has said.

Aminah Mohamad, 8, who was born in Chattanooga in Tennessee, was rescued from the camp thanks to information provided to Peter Galbraith, US ambassador to Croatia from 1993 to 1998, by a Canadian woman who has since left and denounced Daesh.

Mohamad’s mother, Ariel Bradley, reportedly fled the US to join the terrorist group in 2014 after converting to Islam from Christianity and marrying the girl’s father, Yasin Mohammed, in 2011.

Bradley and her second child, also born under Daesh control in Al-Bab, were reportedly killed in an airstrike by the US-led anti-Daesh coalition in 2018. The girl’s father was also killed, making her an orphan.

She was then left in the custody of one of her stepfather’s other wives, a Somali woman who remained a staunch supporter of Daesh, before her rescue began.

Galbraith and the Canadian woman, speaking to news outlet BuzzFeed, detailed their 18-month operation to secure the girl’s release from the camp, which included hiding her identity from Kurdish camp guards or anyone who might reveal her American nationality.

“Children in the camps have the worst start to life,” the woman, who chose to remain anonymous out of fear for her safety, said.

“They are already traumatized by losing one or more parents and growing up around violence, poverty, and misery. They deal with constant danger, lack of food, lack of education, and their lives are simply going to waste,” she told BuzzFeed.

Mohammed, who was removed from the camp on July 17, is now in a secure location in northeast Syria and has been interviewed by the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism about her life under Daesh. She is undergoing DNA testing to certify her US citizenship.

“The United States has repatriated 12 adult US citizens and 16 US citizen minors from Syria and Iraq,” the US State Department told BuzzFeed News.

“Of the adults, the Department of Justice has charged 10 with federal criminal charges. We have no comment on specific numbers of US citizens remaining in facilities in northeast Syria.”

Galbraith, who has spent decades as a key figure in US dealings with the Kurdish people, also helped secure the release of the Canadian woman who is now waiting in Iraq to return to Canada.


Report of incident under way off UAE coast — UKMTO

Report of incident under way off UAE coast — UKMTO
Updated 3 min 31 sec ago

Report of incident under way off UAE coast — UKMTO

Report of incident under way off UAE coast — UKMTO
  • The Golden Brilliant said it was unable to maneuver due to exceptional circumstances
  • The UKMTO warning notice advised vessels to exercise extreme caution in the area

DUBAI: A non-piracy incident is under way off the coast of the United Arab Emirates’ Fujairah, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported on Tuesday.
The UKMTO warning notice, based on a third party source, advised vessels to exercise extreme caution in the area, around 61 nautical miles east of the emirate of Fujairah.
UKTMO provided no details regarding the vessel or vessels involved.
However on Tuesday afternoon a Singapore-flagged chemical tanker in roughly the same position off Fujairah named Golden Brilliant updated its AIS tracking status to “Not Under Command,” according to Refinitiv ship tracking data.
This status indicates a ship is unable to maneuver due to exceptional circumstances.

Last week an attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off the coast of Oman killed two crew members and was blamed on Iran by the United States, Israel and Britain. 
Iran denied involvement in that suspected drone attack and said on Monday it would respond promptly to any threat against its security.
The United States and Britain said on Sunday they would work with their allies to respond to last week’s attack on the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.
Iran and Israel have exchanged accusations of carrying out attacks on each other’s vessels in recent months.
Tensions have increased in Gulf waters and between Iran and Israel since 2018, when then US President Donald Trump ditched Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.


Israeli-linked tanker attacked off Oman arrives at UAE anchorage

Israeli-linked tanker attacked off Oman arrives at UAE anchorage
Updated 03 August 2021

Israeli-linked tanker attacked off Oman arrives at UAE anchorage

Israeli-linked tanker attacked off Oman arrives at UAE anchorage
  • Low visibility due to high humidity made it difficult to see the damage to the vessel in its mooring

FUJAIRAH: An Israeli-linked vessel that was attacked off Oman last week anchored off the UAE emirate of Fujairah Tuesday amid accusations Iran was behind the attack in which two crew members were killed.
Low visibility due to high humidity made it difficult to see the damage to the vessel in its mooring in the Gulf of Oman off the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, an AFP correspondent reported.
Tracking service MarineTraffic said the Liberian-flagged vessel reached its mooring at 2:47 am (2247 GMT Monday).
The UAE, which normalized ties with Israel last year, has not officially commented on the tanker incident.
Both the United States and Israel have said their intelligence assessments of Thursday’s incident concluded that an Iranian drone attacked the ship, managed by prominent Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, as it sailed off Oman.
Tehran denied the accusation and warned against “adventurism.”
A British security guard and a Romanian crew member were killed in what analysts said bore all the hallmarks of the “shadow war” between Iran and Israel, which has included attacks on shipping in waters around the Gulf.
Washington on Monday promised to lead a “collective response” against Tehran, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling the MV Mercer Street incident “a direct threat to freedom of navigation and commerce.”
Britain summoned the Iranian ambassador and demanded that vessels navigate freely in the oil-rich region.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, meanwhile, said that Israel “must stop such baseless accusations” and called on the US and Britain to provide evidence to support their claims.
Iran “will not hesitate to protect its security and national interests, and will immediately and decisively respond to any possible adventurism,” Khatibzadeh said.


UAE lifts ban on transit flights from India, Pakistan, other countries

UAE lifts ban on transit flights from India, Pakistan, other countries
Updated 03 August 2021

UAE lifts ban on transit flights from India, Pakistan, other countries

UAE lifts ban on transit flights from India, Pakistan, other countries
  • Transit passengers traveling from countries where flights had been suspended must present negative PCR tests taken 72 hours prior to departure

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates will lift a ban on transit passenger traffic from India, Pakistan, Nigeria and other countries from Aug. 5, the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA) said on Tuesday.
The UAE, a major international travel hub, has banned passengers from many South Asian and African countries for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
NCEMA said on Twitter that passengers traveling from countries where flights had been suspended would be able to transit through its airports from Thursday as long as they present negative PCR tests taken 72 hours prior to departure.
Final destination approval would also have to be provided, the authority said, adding that UAE departure airports would arrange separate lounges for transiting passengers.
The transit ban had also included Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Uganda.
NCEMA said that a ban on entry to the UAE for passengers from these countries would also be lifted for those with valid residencies and who are certified by Emirati authorities as fully vaccinated.
However, they would need to apply for online entry permits prior to traveling and would need to present a negative PCR test taken 48 hours prior to departure.
Those working in the medical, educational or government sectors in the Gulf Arab state as well as those studying or completing medical treatment in the UAE would be exempt from the vaccination requirement as would humanitarian cases.


Bahrain, Abu Dhabi vow to protect maritime trade

Bahrain, Abu Dhabi vow to protect maritime trade
Updated 03 August 2021

Bahrain, Abu Dhabi vow to protect maritime trade

Bahrain, Abu Dhabi vow to protect maritime trade
  • In a statement released by Bahrain’s state media, both men drew upon their countries’ “brotherly ties”

DUBAI: Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said Tuesday that coordination with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyanis ongoing to protect international navigation from any threats. 

In a statement released by Bahrain’s state media, both men drew upon their countries’ “brotherly ties” during the meeting and vowed to “continue coordinating a joint strategic vision to establish security and stability.”

“Protect international maritime traffic from any threats that negatively affect the course of global trade,” is of the utmost importance, the statement said.