One Iranian Destroyer fired a missile on another Iranian Destroyer in the early morning hours of Monday. At least 19 Iranian sailors are dead, at least another 15 wounded after an “accidental” missile strike during a training exercise in the Gulf of Oman. Iranian media initially reported just one sailor killed.
“Dozens of sailors in Iran’s Navy were killed early Monday after a on-board missile was accidentally shot from one destroyer and hit another. During a military drill, a C-802 missile was fired toward another Iranian Navy destroyer, striking it and causing extensive damage.” The Jerusalem Post reported.
A report from Haaretz said that about 40 Iranian sailors were missing after the incident. The Iranian ship Konorak was reportedly too close to its target when the incident occurred. The ships were putting out targets for other ships to shoot. The missile launch was apparently an accident, anda costly one at that: not just damage to the Iranian destroyer, but numerous Iranian sailors killed and wounded.
The incident occurred near the port of Jask, in the Gulf of Oman, which is about 790 miles southeast of Tehran.
Iranian media said the Konarak had been overhauled in 2018 and was able to launch sea and anti-ship missiles. The Dutch-made, 155-foot vessel was in service since 1988 and had capacity of 40 tons. It usually carries a crew of 20 sailors.
Iran regularly holds exercises in the region, which is closed to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world’s oil passes. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which monitors the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Iranian media rarely report on mishaps during its exercises, signaling the severity of the incident.
Tensions have been brewing in the region after the US was accosted by 11 Iranian vessels in April, and the President gave US naval vessels permission to shoot them out of the water.
Featured photo: Screenshot of the damaged Iranian destroyer via Ruptly video