TWO Saudi oil tankers were hit by a "sabotage attack" off the United Arab Emirates, it was announced this morning - as tensions flare between the US and Iran.
The ships were struck off the coast of the port of Fujairah - with one of the tankers due to be loaded with Saudi crude oil bound for the United States.
Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih revealed the tankers suffered "significant damage" - although it was unclear what the attack involved.
He said: "Fortunately, the attack didn't lead to any casualties or oil spill; however, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels."
Trading and shipping sources identified the Saudi ships as Bahri-owned very large crude carrier (VLCC) tanker Amjad and crude tanker Al Marzoqah.
A huge US naval presence has built up in the Gulf over recent days amid a fevered standoff between Washington and Tehran.
US intelligence revealed Iran was on the verge of carrying out offensive action to disrupt and attack American and partner interests in the region.