Iran’s navy suffered a major blow Wednesday when its largest vessel, the IRIS Kharg, caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman during a training exercise. While the ship’s crew managed to escape unscathed, “all efforts to save the vessel were unsuccessful and it sank” after nearly 20 hours of burning, Tehran’s semiofficial Fars news agency reported. The cause of the fire has yet to be revealed, and no allegations of foul play have been raised as of yet. In April, Iran accused Israel of targeting its mothership in the Red Sea, the Saviz, using limpet mines. The two enemy states have recently exchanged maritime blows, with Iran firing missiles at two Israeli-owned cargo ships in the Gulf and Israel reportedly striking Iranian vessels suspected of transferring weapons to Syria and Lebanon. Last year, an Iranian warship accidentally struck another with a missile during a military drill, killing 19 sailors and wounding 15 others.
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