Iranian forces has boarded a tanker in the international waters of the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz on Aug 12, according to the U.S. military.
Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel, the operational arm of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) monitored an incident.
A video showing the moment an Iranian Sea King helicopter hovered above M/T Wila and armed Iranian personnel fast-roped aboard the ship was released. Initial reports indicate two Iranian ships in the vicinity of the incident.
Today in international waters, Iranian forces, including two ships and an Iranian "Sea King" helicopter, overtook and boarded a ship called the 'Wila.' pic.twitter.com/455UQ5jwHT
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) August 12, 2020
Iran’s use of its military forces to conduct an armed boarding of a commercial vessel in international waters constitutes a blatant violation of international law that undermines freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce. We call on Iran to articulate to the international community the legal basis for its actions. This type of reckless, aggressive behavior by Iran destabilizes the region and threatens the rules based international order.
A CTF Sentinel coalition ship was providing overwatch in the immediate area and monitored the incident. There were no calls for help issued by Wila. CTF Sentinel’s mission is to deter and expose malign activity and reassure the maritime community in the region.
CTF Sentinel is working to secure the regional maritime commons and recommends Best Management Practices 5 (BMP5) as a guide for enhanced maritime security.