Iran navy 'friendly fire' incident kills 19 sailors in Gulf of Oman

Nineteen sailors have been killed and 15 others injured in an accident involving Iranian naval vessels in the Gulf of Oman, Iran's navy has said.

Iranian media reported that the support ship Konarak was hit by a new anti-ship missile being tested by the frigate Jamaran during an exercise on Sunday.

The Konarak had been putting targets out in the water and remained too close to one, according to the reports.

The navy said the ship was towed ashore and that an investigation had begun.

The incident took place near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important waterway through which about a fifth of the world's oil passes.
The Iranian armed forces are no strangers to error.

In January, an air defence unit fired two surface-to-air missiles at an unidentified target, bringing down a Ukrainian airliner and killing all those on board. That mistake came at a time of heightened tension, with the Iranians expecting a retaliatory US missile strike.But Sunday's incident took place in very different circumstances - a planned naval exercise - and raises all sorts of questions about command and control and the professionalism of the Iranian navy.
Iran is seeking to broaden the sphere of its naval operations and to upgrade its warships' armament. The frigate Jamaran is part of a new class of home-built vessels intended to set a new course for Iran's navy.
But it remains, to some extent, an over-looked service. It is the Revolutionary Guards' flotilla of fast patrol boats that seem to figure most prominently in Iranian efforts to harass and monitor US and other shipping in the Gulf.

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By: nomore123 (12500.00)

Tags: friendly fire Iranian frigate incident

Location: Iran

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