Saudi naval forces announced on Monday, June 19, that a boat full of weapons was captured near an offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf. The seizure came following a failed June 16 attack targeting the Marjan oil platform. Saudi naval forces fired warning shots when three small boats headed at high speed towards the oil installation; two boats escaped and the third was seized.
This incident comes at a time of high tensions in the Gulf, especially since June 5, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties with Qatar. Gulf Arab states, Egypt, and Jordan have long resented Qatar's alleged support for groups such as the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State (IS), as well as for its relations with Iran. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused the country of broadcasting militant ideology, a reference to the Al Jazeera media outlet. Qatar was accused of using Al Jazeera to promote the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, a move that threatened many of the Gulf monarchies and fueled the overthrow of the then-Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak.
The Persian Gulf (also called the Arabian Gulf) is highly militarized.
Individuals should consult security experts prior to traveling by sea in the Persian Gulf.