Iran’s sectarian naval forces seized an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, U.S. 5th Fleet announced.
The Marshall Island-flagged Advantage Sweet was captured at 1:15 p.m. local time on Thursday about 40 miles east of Fujairah, UAE south of the Strait of Hormuz, according to merchant ship traffic data from Marine Traffic.
The oil tanker had departed from Kuwait and was headed for Houston, according to trip data.
U.S. Central Command issued a statement on Thursday placing the blame on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy.
“Advantage Sweet was seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy while transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman. The oil tanker issued a distress call during the seizure. U.S. 5th Fleet is monitoring the situation,” reads the statement.
“In the past two years, Iran has unlawfully seized at least five commercial vessels sailing in the Middle East.”
Iranian officials have not yet comment on the capture.
The IRGC has attacked and seized a series of tankers as part of Tehran’s ongoing conflict with the West. In addition to the tanker seizures, the IRGC has been tied to several lethal drone attacks on ships with business ties to Israel.