Oil tanker stormed by ‘masked men in military uniforms’ near Iran as UK poised to launch strikes on Houthis 

Oil tanker stormed by ‘masked men in military uniforms’ near Iran as UK poised to launch strikes on Houthis 

MASKED men in military uniforms have stormed an oil tanker off the coasts of Iran and Oman.

It comes as British and US warships have been readied to blitz Houthi rebels in the Red Sea as tensions hit boiling point in the Middle East.

Getty”Armed unauthorised persons’ have boarded an oil tanker near Oman[/caption]

The vessel was once involved a dispute with the US Justice Department that saw a million barrels of Iranian crude oil seized, Sky News reports.

The incident took place in the early hours of Thursday some 50 miles off the coast of Oman, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said.

UKMTO, which provides warnings to sailors in the Middle East, said the vessel was stormed by a group of four or five people.

The armed intruders were reported to be wearing military style black uniforms and black masks.

UKTMO also reported hearing “unknown voices over the phone” alongside the ship’s captain after getting a report from the ship’s security manager.

The United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet did not immediately respond to a request for comment or further information.

It said it was unable to make further contact with the vessel and that the authorities were investigating the incident.

Yemen‘s Iran-backed Houthis have vowed to show support for Hamas following the outbreak of its war with Israel.

On November 19, the Houthis promised to target vessels they believe are heading to and from Israel.

The Houthis attacks have been concentrated on the Bab al-Mandab Strait, to the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula, while Thursday’s incident is located closer to the Strait of Hormuz.

Following their slogan of “Death to America, Death to Israel, curse the Jews and victory to Islam,” Houthi attacks have been disrupting global supply routes.

It comes after a senior ambassador warned the UK will not “stand by” and let the Iran-backed rebels attack the Red Sea.

Ambassador Dame Barbara Woodward said “all diplomatic means possible” were being used to stop the drone and missile strikes, with military action having not been ruled out.

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