2 Saudi oil tankers attacked off United Arab Emirates coast

Saudi Arabia claims the two ships were targeted in "sabotage operations."
2:39 | 05/13/19

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Transcript for 2 Saudi oil tankers attacked off United Arab Emirates coast
And we move overseas Saudi Arabia's energy minister said that two of its oil tankers were sabotaged. Off the coast of the United Arab Emirates they say the attacks caused significant damage to the vessels. And one of them was in route to pick up Saudi oil to the US I want to bring in Elizabeth but McLaughlin at the Pentagon we also have Terry Moran. In our DC bureau I'm starting with you Elizabeth. He does give us the latest details on this and just give us kind of a breakdown of what happened. Beckham really does with happening in a very very busy area of the world where it fascinated. About 20%. Of the world's oil transits through this area right outside the Persian gulf near the Strait of Hormuz and of course this comes as. The US has Warren commercial shipping insurance. In that area that it there could be targeted by Iran or its proxies but it's very very important to know early on that the EU last. And those regional partners have not meet. A firm assessment of who conducted these attacks exactly what the attack wife. So while you know there's been a lot of conversations about what the possible threats from a Ron art EU last. And its interests in the region as well as commercial shipping interests to include. Oil tankers like these there is an affirm assessment that this was perpetrated by Iran or some of its proxy groups. And Terry I'm glad you're here because I'll I just want people understand is what is. What should we be caring about like why should people care about this. War I accurately I'm afraid that that is really what is on the horizon the Saudi Arabia and Iran war by proxy in Yemen is what is the flash point in that area Saudi Arabia and Iran the two great rivals. All around the Persian gulf which is where so much of the world's oil comes from Elizabeth just pointed out. And so this is potential escalation. That is between Saudi Arabia and Iran. But I think possibly between Iran and the United States to trump administration. From administration canceling that Iran deal openly saying it advocates regime change. And partnering with Saudi Arabia standing against Iran and so here Saudi Arabia claiming. And as Elizabeth pointed out without any evidence proffered to the public so far. That Iran Ian that there is oil tankers have been sabotaged. Saudi races to oil tankers the United Arab Emirates is for. So it's already a very murky situation I think it's wise for that. For people watching this situation to go slowly but the stakes are very very high.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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