Two tankers were damaged in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

One was heading from the United Arab Emirates to Taiwan and the other was en route from Saudi Arabia to Singapore. The Taiwan state oil company said it believes one vessel was hit by a torpedo.

It happened near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway that links the Middle East's oil producers to the rest of the world.

Thursday's incident is not the first of its kind - a month ago, four tankers were struck off the coast of the UAE.

The United States accused Iran of "almost certainly" being behind the attacks - Tehran has dismissed the allegations.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have long been at odds over the war in Yemen, where the Saudis and the Emiratis are heading a coalition against the Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia blames Iran for supporting the Houthis and threatening the region's security, which Tehran denies.

The Houthis have repeatedly hit targets inside Saudi Arabia and on Wednesday claimed a missile attack on Abha airport, in the country's southwest.

So, could the tensions spiral out of control?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Nasser Arrabyee - Yemeni journalist

Simon Mabon - Senior lecturer in international studies at Lancaster University

Imadaldin al-Jubouri - Political analyst and author

Source: Al Jazeera News