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Multiple Ships Off UAE Report Loss of Control; U.K. Sources Suspect Hijacking of Vessel by Iranian Forces

HD UPDATE: Times of Israel is now reporting that “at least six ships” have “lost control of their steering under unclear circumstances.”

At least [six] ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates broadcasted warnings Tuesday that they had lost control of their steering under unclear circumstances as authorities reported “an incident” was underway in the area.

It wasn’t immediately clear what was happening off the coast of Fujairah in the Gulf of Oman, but Britain’s maritime trade agency reported that a “potential hijack” was taking place. 

British sources believe one of the vessels, the Asphalt Princess, has been hijacked and are “working on the assumption Iranian military or proxies boarded the vessel”, the Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Two maritime sources also added they believe that Iranian-backed forces seized one of the oil tankers in the Gulf off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. A spokesperson of the U.K. Foreign Office said it was urgently investigating “an incident on a vessel off the UAE coast.”

Earlier, Britain’s maritime trade agency reported that a “potential hijack” was unfolding off the coast of the United Arab Emirates’ Fujairah region, without giving details on the vessel or vessels involved.

The Times defense editor tweeted: “British sources believe Asphalt Princess has been hijacked. They are working on the assumption Iranian military or proxies have boarded vessel.”

Two of the vessels — an oil tanker called the Golden Brilliant and an asphalt carrier called the Kamdhenu — reported via their Automatic Identification System trackers that they were “not under command,” according to That typically means a vessel has lost power and can no longer steer.

Iran’s foreign ministry said reports of the incidents near the UAE coast on Tuesday were “suspicious” and warned against any effort to create a “false atmosphere” against Tehran.

“The reports on the occurrence of successive security incidents for ships in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman is completely suspicious,” a ministry website quoted spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh as saying.

“(Khatibzadeh) warned of any effort to create a false atmosphere for special political purposes,” it added.

An Oman Royal Air Force Airbus C-295MPA, a maritime patrol aircraft, was flying over the area where the ships were, according to data from

The U.S. military’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet and the British Defense Ministry did not immediately return calls for comment. The Emirati government did not immediately acknowledge the incident.

In another development related to maritime traffic in the region, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised a “collective response” to an Iranian drone attack on an Israeli-managed tanker transiting through international waters near Oman last week.

The United States was confident that the attack last Friday was carried out by Iran, Blinken said on Tuesday. However, the secretary of state said that the attack was one in a series of actions taken by Iran over many months, and that he was not sure it was “anything new or augurs anything one way or another for the new government.”

For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that “the Iranians must understand that it’s not possible to sit calmly in Tehran and set the whole Middle East on fire. That is over.” Israel, he added, also knows “how to act alone.”

HD Editors Note: Why is this News Biblically Relevant?

In Matthew 24, the disciples ask Jesus, “What shall be the sign of thy coming?” Jesus’s response is a detailed description of the condition of the world and what it will look like in the last days before His return. Wars and rumours of wars, nation rising against nation, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, these being the beginning of sorrows.

In Luke 21:25, Jesus says, “There will be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth Distress of Nations with Perplexity, the seas and the wave roaring.”

These things will be greatly increased and primarily take place during the seven-year Tribulation (from which the church is absent). However, with the current global state of turmoil amongst the nations, we can’t help but recognize the distress of nations Jesus describes in Luke 21 and Matthew 24, rising in our world today.

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