2/2/2021–|Last updated: 2/2/202105:54 PM (Makkah)
An Iraqi government source said today, Tuesday, that a ship was robbed near Khawr Abdullah in the southernmost province of Basra, while the port company denied media reports about the ship’s exposure to a military operation.
The source said that “a group of pirates attacked one of the ships last night,” which did not know which side it belongs to, explaining that all of its staff who were robbed were Iraqis. He added that the pirates stole money and phones of the staff, adding that the ship left.
For her part, a member of the Oil and Energy Committee in the Iraqi Parliament, Zahra Al-Bajari, said that the robbery was carried out by six gunmen, who were in a boat, and then fled towards the sea after stealing a sum of money estimated at about $ 900.
Al-Bajari added that the accident is the second of its kind in the same region after the recent marine mine incident, noting that the matter appears to be targeting oil, which is the main resource for Iraq.
On the other hand, the port company revealed the details of the robbery of the tugboat inside the territorial waters, but denied that it was exposed to a military operation.
The general manager of the company, Farhan Al-Fartousi, told the Iraqi News Agency (INA), “The tugboat entered the Iraqi territorial waters in a different way without the knowledge of the Iraqi maritime authorities or the Iraqi military maritime authorities,” indicating that “the tug was subjected to a robbery because our forces did not know it was in this place.”
He added, “The Iraqi naval forces are deployed in most of the regional waters, and we have warned more than once about the necessity of informing every maritime piece that enters the regional waters of their presence in order to be protected,” pointing out that “what happened as a result of violations and failure to comply with laws and regulations.”
“The maritime forces were present near the tug when a call came from them, and they investigated the incident,” Fartousi said, referring to what happened as “an accident that occurs in most countries of the world,” denying “what the media reported about the tugboat being subjected to a military operation.”