Oil tankers (archive)
Oil tankers (archive)Reuters

Two Saudi oil tankers en route to the United States were attacked Sunday, a senior Saudi Arabian official said according to SPA.

Khalid al-Falih, the kingdom’s minister of energy, industry, and mineral resources, said Monday that two Saudi oil tankers were hit Sunday in “a sabotage attack” off the United Arab Emirate’s coast near the port city of Fujairah, causing “significant damage” to the ships.

No casualties were reported in the attacks, and no oil spills caused as a result of the damage to the two ships.

One of the ships hit in the sabotage attack, al-Falih said, was set to be loaded with crude oil at Ras Tanura, bound for the Saudi-owned Aramco company in the US.

"One of the two vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude oil from the port of Ras Tanura, to be delivered to Saudi Aramco's customers in the United States," al-Falih 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."

The United Arab Emirates also complained of “sabotage operations” in the area, saying four shipping vessels were damaged.

Just hours before the Saudi ships were hit, Iranian and Lebanese outlets, including the pro-Iranian Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen, published false reports claiming that explosions had been heard at the port of Fujairah, near the location of the sabotaged ships, AP reported.

The incidents come after the US issued a warning suggesting that Iran and its allies could target shipping in the region.

Last week, the US military deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Middle East in a move that US officials said was made to counter “clear indications” of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.