The nation of Iran is reportedly reeling after an incident of friendly fire has claimed the lives of dozens of men.
The incident was first reported in Arabic by Al Jazeera, writing that local media claimed an Iranian destroyer hit a battleship during practice exercises earlier today. Forty men — which many believe to be the entire crew of the ship — have been reported missing, with Iranian officials fearing that dozens could be dead.
ELINT News then quickly followed up on the initial reports.
“It is reported the Iranian Jamaran frigate accidentally fired on the Konarak support ship with an anti-ship cruise missile during exercises. The Jamaran is a Moudge-class frigate armed with 4 C-802 (Noor) anti-ship cruise missiles. This is likely what was launched,” the outlet tweeted.
“C-802 missiles are capable & have been in Iran’s possession (& its proxies) for quite some time. During the 2006 Lebanon War, Israel’s Sa’ar 5-class corvette INS Hanit was hit by a Hezbollah-launched C-802 from the Lebanese coast (however the warhead failed to detonate),” read a second update.
According to TRT World, the Konarak had only recently been added to the Iranian Naval fleet. In addition, the publication reported that the Konarak’s commander has been named as one of the casualties of the friendly fire.
Though there has been no official statement from the Iranian military at present, insiders in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps have confirmed that the accident was due to human error. Sources added that the Iranian Navy will likely make an announcement on the strike within the next few hours.
The incident comes after tensions between the U.S. and Iran have increased in the Persian Gulf. Just three weeks ago, President Donald Trump tweeted that he had instructed the U.S. Navy to “shoot down and destroy” Iranian gunboats that harassed American ships.
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, Trump’s comments came after military officials stated that Iranian boats had been making “dangerous and harassing approaches” to Navy and Coast Guard vessels, despite being in international waters.
This is the second accidental fatal crisis that has hit Iran in recent months. In January of this year, Iran mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet shortly after the U.S. launched a drone strike in Iraq that killed Quds Commander Qassem Soleimani.
The airline attack, which claimed the lives of 176 people, became a major source of public protest in the Islamic nation, spurred in part by Tehran’s original denial of responsibility and the large number of Iranian citizens onboard.