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https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/12/uae-four-merchant-ships-reported-sabotaged One of the two vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude oil bound for customers in the US, state news agency SPA reported. The attack did not lead to any casualties or an oil spill but caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels, said Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih on Monday. On Sunday, the UAE foreign ministry said four commercial vessels were targeted by “sabotage operations” near its territorial waters but gave no details of the nature of the sabotage. Hours later, Iranian and Lebanese media outlets aired false reports of explosions at a nearby Emirati port. Tensions have risen in the year since Donald Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, restoring American sanctions that have pushed Iran’s economy into crisis. Last week, Iran warned it would begin enriching uranium at higher levels in 60 days if world powers failed to negotiate new terms for the deal. -- The reported sabotage incident came after the US Maritime Administration warned on Thursday that Iran could target commercial sea traffic. “Since early May, there is an increased possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take action against US and partner interests, including oil production infrastructure, after recently threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz,” the warning read. “Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or US military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf.”
Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions.
Gunmen have opened fire on an Iranian military parade in the south-western city of Ahvaz, killing at least 25 people, including civilians, and injuring more than 50, state media say.
Dozens of Kurdish militants who had fought with US forces in the fight against Islamic State have now allied with Syrian regime forces in Idlib province for what is likely to be the war’s final, bloody battle.