Iran’s largest navy ship, known as the Kharg, caught on fire on Wednesday and sunk in the Gulf of Oman, according to state media.
Details: The fire broke out at around 2:25 a.m. while the ship was near Iran’s Port of Jask, a major shipping lane. No casualties were reported and the entire crew was able to escape the wreck and was taken to safety on the coast, per NPR.
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Officials tried for 20 hours to put out the fire, but were unable to as the flames spread to different parts of the ship.
The Kharg was being deployed for training operations when the blaze erupted.
The big picture: While Iranian officials have not offered any cause that might have started the fire, this was the latest in a series of mysterious explosions that has been targeting ships in the Gulf of Oman since 2019, AP reports.
The U.S. accused Iran of being responsible for a series of attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz in 2019, saying the regime was engaged in “an unacceptable campaign of escalating tensions.”
Iran has denied targeting ships in the area, but U.S. Navy footage caught members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps removed an unexploded limpet mine from a vessel in 2019.
Yes, but: Iran’s ships have experienced incidents in the past that were unrelated to conflicts with foreign nations. In 2020, a training vessel was mistakenly hit by a missile near the Port of Jask, ending in 19 casualties, per AP.
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