Situation Report: Iran navy hits own ship with missile, killing 19

An Iranian missile struck an Iranian navy support vessel in the Gulf of Oman, killing at least 19 sailors and injuring 15 others, Iran’s state media reported Monday. The incident occurred on May 10 during a training exercise near the port of Jask, around 790 miles southeast of Tehran.

The missile struck the Konarak, a Hendijan-class Iranian navy support ship, which Iran’s state media reported was too close to a target during a routine naval exercise. The Dutch-made vessel serviced since 1988 was reportedly targeted with a Noor anti-ship missile test fired off Iran’s first domestically made destroyer, the Jamaran.

Iran’s military regularly holds exercises in the region, which is near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the world’s single most critical oil passageway. It is rare for Iranian media to report on military exercise mishaps, signaling the gravity of this incident. However, Iran’s military has come under heightened global scrutiny following another missile “accident” last January when the IRGC shot down a Ukrainian Airlines passenger plane killing 176 civilians.

This incident also comes amid months of escalated tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Last month, President Trump tweeted he had instructed the U.S. Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea. This statement came days after US military officials reported 11 small Iranian vessels conducted “dangerous and harassing approaches” near U.S. Navy ships.

About Maya Carlin

Maya Carlin is an analyst at the Center for Security Policy, located in Washington D.C. She is also a M.A. candidate in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security at IDC Herzliya’s Lauder School of Government in Israel.