New footage depicting a close encounter between Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) boats and US warships in the Sea of Oman, as well as the IRGC troops’ boarding of the Sothys – an oil tanker that the US Navy allegedly used to “steal” Iranian oil – has been released by Iranian state media agencies.
In the videos, around a dozen small ships, presumably IRGC speed boats, can be seen following and circling a US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer – either USS The Sullivans or USS Michael P. Murphy, both of which operate in the region. One of the videos also appears to show IRGC troops airdropping onto the deck of the Sothys from a helicopter.
The details of the encounter, however, remain murky. Iranian media outlets reported on 3 November that the IRGC thwarted the US warships’ attempt to seize Iranian oil from a tanker in the Sea of Oman. The US Navy purportedly stopped an Iranian tanker and forced it to pump its cargo of crude into another tanker – presumably the Sothys.
The Iranian media said that the oil was returned and that a tanker was directed to Iranian waters without clarifying which one. Media outlets claimed that US warships and a helicopter tried to prevent that from happening. The Sothys is currently anchored on Iran’s Qeshm Island.