US shares new images of Iranian activity after tanker attack

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A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17, which is says was taken from a U.S. Navy MH-60R helicopter in the Gulf of Oman in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran on June 13, shows personnel that the Pentagon says are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy leaving after removing an unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous, a Japanese owned commercial motor tanker. (Reuters)
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A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17, which the Pentagon says was taken from a U.S. Navy MH-60R helicopter, shows what the Navy says are the remnants of the magnetic attachment device of an unexploded limpet mine on the side of the Japanese owned motor tanker Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, 2019. (Reuters)
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This image released on June 17, 2019 by the US Department of Defense in a press release is presented as a new evidence incriminating Iran in the June 13 tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. (AFP)
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Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker is anchored offshore of the port of Fujairah in a satellite overview image over the United Arab Emirates, June 17, 2019. (Reuters)
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This image released on June 17, 2019 by the US Department of Defense in a press release is presented as a new evidence incriminating Iran in the June 13 tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. (AFP)
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A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17 shows what the Navy says is the hull penetration and blast damage on the starboard side of the Japanese owned motor tanker vessel Kokuka Courageous, which was sustained from a June 13 limpet mine attack while operating in the Gulf of Oman and photographed by the U.S. military the following day on June 14, 2019. Picture taken June 14, 2019. (Reuters)
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New images add to a video released last week showing Iranian involvment in the attacks on the ships. (US Navy)
Updated 18 June 2019

US shares new images of Iranian activity after tanker attack

  • Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence, said the Pentagon

WASHINGTON: The United States military on Monday released new photos it says incriminate Iran in an attack last week on a tanker ship in strategic Gulf waters.
The US argument centers on an unexploded limpet mine on the Kokuka Courageous ship it says was removed by Iranians on a patrol boat.
“Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine,” the Pentagon said in a statement accompanying the imagery.
The US released a grainy black and white video last week it said showed the Iranians removing the mine, but has not provided an explanation for why they allegedly did so while the US military was observing them.
One of the photos released Monday shows what the Pentagon described as “the remnants of the magnetic attachment device of (an) unexploded limpet mine,” while others picture the place where the mine was allegedly attached.
Additional images picture damage from what the US says was a limpet mine that did explode on the same ship, and others are said to show the Iranians removing the unexploded mine and the patrol boat they traveled on.


Protests, explosions hit Iraq’s south as demos maintain strength

Updated 10 December 2019

Protests, explosions hit Iraq’s south as demos maintain strength

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s south saw further protests and explosions, as demonstrations against the government and its Iranian sponsor that erupted on October 1 persist unabated, according to security sources.
The southern city of Amara was rocked overnight by four near-simultaneous explosions targeting premises of two pro-Iran armed factions, according to police.
“Three sound grenades targeted two premises and the house of an Assaib Ahl Al-Haq leader and an improvised explosive device targeted the house of an Ansar Allah commander,” police said.
Asaib Ahl Al-Haq is one of the most powerful groups in Iraq’s Hashed Al-Shaabi security force, a network of armed groups integrated into the state, of which Ansar Allah is also a component.
Medical sources reported three wounded by the blasts.
Founded in 2014 to fight IS jihadists who had seized swathes of northern Iraq and neighboring Syria, the Hashed is made up of mostly Shiite factions, many of which have been backed by Iran.
According to security sources, the attacks were committed against the groups due to their loyalty to neighboring Iran, whose influence continues to grow in Iraq, in particular via armed groups that it has long trained and financed.
These attacks come shortly after the recent bloodshed in several Iraqi cities, the latest seeing 24 people killed, including four police officers, on Friday evening in central Baghdad.
Both the state and the demonstrators accuse armed men of perpetrating the violence, the former claiming that it is not possible to identify those responsible, while the latter point to pro-Iran entities.
Since October 1, Iraq’s capital and its Shiite-majority south have been gripped by rallies against corruption, poor public services, a lack of jobs and Iran’s perceived political interference.
More than 450 people have been killed and more than 20,000 wounded during the unprecedented protest movement demanding an overhaul of the political system.
In the holy Shiite city of Karbala, protesters rallied at the police station to demand information within 24 hours on the death of Fahem Al-Tai, a 53-year-old prominent civil society activist gunned down in a drive-by shooting on Sunday evening while returning home from protests.
Others blocked access to the courthouse to demand proceedings be launched against local leaders for corruption — a key priority of the protest movement in a country ranked the 12th most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International.
In Diwaniya, also in the south, protesters blocked the road to the Shanafiya oil refinery, according to police, demanding employment.
Despite Iraq being OPEC’s second-largest crude producer, one in five of its people live in poverty and youth unemployment stands at one quarter of the population, the World Bank says.
Protesters from several cities in the south on Tuesday joined thousands of demonstrators gathered for more than two months in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, which is the epicenter of the demonstrations in the capital.
“We came to support our brothers in Baghdad,” said an activist in the movement from Nassiriya, Haydar Kazem.