UK maritime organization reports ‘incident’ off Saudi port of Yanbu as security firm warns of possible attack on ship
Black smoke rose off the Saudi port of Yanbu after an undescribed “incident” in the Red Sea, authorities said, while one private security firm warned of a possible attack on a ship.
Details remained scarce, but the incident comes after a series of attacks on shipping the wider Mideast amid a shadow war between Iran and Israel amid negotiations between Tehran and world powers over its tattered nuclear deal.
Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge the incident.
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which is run by the British navy, simply said it was “aware of reports of an incident” and that investigations were ongoing.
Private maritime security firm Dryad Global said it had reports a ship had been “attacked,” without elaborating.
Maritime security firm Neptune P2P Group reported that black smoke was seen billowing near the south entrance of the Yanbu port.
British maritime security firm Ambrey reported an “incident” offshore western Saudi Arabia between the ports of Yanbu and Rabigh.
Earlier this morning, smoke was seen rising from a vessel off the Saudi oil-shipping port of Yanbu, the firm reported. Multiple tankers remain anchored or drifting in the area.
King Fahd port control at Yanbu broadcast a message by marine VHF radio warning vessels to increase their level of alertness and monitor for any suspicious activity, Ambrey said.