19 Sailors Dead in Iranian Friendly-fire Incident
IndraStra Global

19 Sailors Dead in Iranian Friendly-fire Incident

By IndraStra Global News Team

19 Sailors Dead in Iranian Friendly-fire Incident

On May 10, 2020, Jamaran (76), an Iranian Moudge-class frigate accidentally fired a missile during a training exercise in the Gulf of Oman which struck a support vessel Konarak (A1403) near its target, killing 19 Iranian sailors and wounding 15, Iran’s state media reported on Monday.

The statement significantly raised the death toll in Sunday’s incident from that reported hours earlier, when Iran’s state media said at least one sailor had been killed.

Image Attribute: A file photo of Konarak / Source: IRNA

Image Attribute: A file photo of Konarak / Source: IRNA

The Konarak, a Hendijan-class support ship taking part in the exercise, was too close to a target during an exercise when the incident happened, the reports said. The vessel had been laying targets for other ships when it was struck accidentally by Noor, an Iranian anti-ship cruise missile, a copy of the Chinese C-802 (export version of YJ-83) powered by Toloue-4, an Iranian version of the French Microturbo TRI 60 engine.

The friendly-fire incident took place near the port of Jask, 790 miles south-east of Tehran, in the Gulf of Oman. A local hospital admitted 12 sailors and treated another three with light injuries, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Iranian media said the Konarak had been overhauled in 2018 and was able to launch missiles. The Dutch-made, 47 meters (155ft) vessel had been in service since 1988 and had a capacity of 40 tons. It usually carries a crew of 20 sailors.

Image Attribute: A handout picture provided by an Iranian army official website shows the damaged Konarak vessel docked at the Jask port in Hormozgan province. / Source: IRNA

Image Attribute: A handout picture provided by an Iranian army official website shows the damaged Konarak vessel docked at the Jask port in Hormozgan province. / Source: IRNA

Iran towed the Konarak into a nearby naval base after the strike. A photograph released by the army showed burn marks and some damage to the vessel, though the military did not immediately offer detailed photographs of the site of the missile’s impact.

But according to the OSINT data gathered on the web, the boat’s superstructure was completely destroyed and the hull began to sink. 

Image Attribute: An image of Konarak, towed and docked at a nearby naval base after the strike / Source: OSINT

Image Attribute: An image of Konarak, towed and docked at a nearby naval base after the strike / Source: OSINT

Iran regularly holds exercises in the region, which is close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Gulf through which 20% of the world’s oil passes. The US Navy’s 5th Fleet, which monitors the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It was the second serious incident involving a misfired missile by Iran’s armed forces this year. After attacking US forces in Iraq with ballistic missiles in January in response to the US assassination of Gen Qassem Suleimani, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard accidentally shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 people on board.

Image Attribute: Jamaran frigate in Velayat-90 Naval Exercise / Source: Mohammad Sadegh Heydari/ YPA/Wikimedia commons

Image Attribute: Jamaran frigate in Velayat-90 Naval Exercise / Source: Mohammad Sadegh Heydari/ YPA/Wikimedia commons

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