Empire Of The Ring Chapter 646

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Chapter 646: Collision in the Arabian Sea (2)

So far, Somali pirates had often followed oil tankers or container s.h.i.+ps pa.s.sing through the Red Sea on high-speed boats and kidnapped or attempted kidnapping crew members.

As such incidents happened all the time, foreign media outlets these days had paid little attention to the abductions in the Gulf of Aden or the Arabian Sea.

The attack on a Kazakhstan royal family container s.h.i.+p could also be treated as a common attack. However, after questioning a soldier who survived an impa.s.sable patrol boat due to the Lynx helicopter attack, the finding shocked the whole world.

Survivors at a Somali coast guard post testified that they attacked a container s.h.i.+p of the Kazakh royal family after being ordered by their superiors.

He confessed that he had planned to sink the container s.h.i.+p instead of just kidnapping the crew.

A new type of terrorism was being attempted that went beyond the standard level of piracy.

When the Kazakh intelligence agents, who were informed by the survivor, raided the home of the superior who ordered to sink the Kazakh royal vessel, he was already killed by someone else.

As the container s.h.i.+p attack failed and the survivor was found, someone already took measures to shut his mouth.

In other words, those who instigated the terrorist attacks had proven to be an organized group. Judging from this fact, it also meant it was not a one-time attack, and it added to the growing tension.

Youngho was also b.u.mmed to hear that the retaliatory operation did not work.

As a new form of maritime terrorism broke out beyond the level of simply kidnapping sailors for ransom, the 23 countries that dispatched wars.h.i.+ps in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea were on their alert.

In particular, the Kazakh Royal Navy was monitoring the Gulf of Aden 24 hours a day with Aegis destroyers which used to be stationed in the Aegean Sea.

With only a flurry of speculation, only intelligence personnel from each country were busy.

Among them, Kazakh and U.S. intelligence services were the busiest.

Kazakhstan was looking for a de facto power to retaliate for several times while the United States was also looking for the power to reduce the economic losses it would incur from tensions in the Arabian Sea.

If oil prices rose due to tensions in the Arabian Sea, it was obvious that the world economy would fluctuate.

The U.S. intelligence service and the Kazakh intelligence service were working together to find out who was behind the terrorist attacks, but the U.S. intelligence agency was also operating at its full capacity, seeing the matter as critical.

-Duke, don't be surprised. I think the forces behind it are not Somali rebels, but they're from outside.

“Have you figured out who they are yet?”

-Not yet. We're trying our best, but there is a suspicious organization.

“Who are the suspects?”

-I suspect it's the remnants of the IS organization. It tried to throw the Gulf of Aden into chaos and show off its presence, but the Kazakh navy stopped it. I think Arirang s.h.i.+pping's vessels will be targeted in the future, so be extra careful.

The IS and Kazakhstan had had several contacts, and it had bad relations with the Kurds. The Kurdish militia played a crucial role in the collapse of Syria's IS stronghold, and the IS members might have special opposition toward the Kurds. Since Kazakhstan accepted 1.3 million Syrian Kurds, it would be fair for the IS to treat Kazakhstan as enemies.

“Do you know where the remnants are now?”

-They scattered into mountains, so there are no specific places.

“Phew, if I knew where they're gathered, I'd go and take care of them, but I guess we just have to be careful from now on. Now, our merchant s.h.i.+ps will have to carry guns.”

-With security guards armed with heavy arms just like this time, you'd be able to deal with them.

“It's was a terrorist attack, and it was not enough with the weapons carried by our security guards. If the Lynx helicopter had arrived a little bit late, it would have been dangerous.”

Usually, pirates would retreat when warning shots were fired, but the organization that attacked the Arirang cargo s.h.i.+p did not return even though heavy machine guns were fired.

Since the captain of the frigate had not sent a Lynx helicopter with his quick judgment, the situation could be contained.

-Everyone must have learned how dangerous the Suez Ca.n.a.l is by now. Thanks to that, the Arctic route will get more attention from s.h.i.+ppers.

“The southern European and Southeast Asian routes are the most economical to use the Suez Ca.n.a.l. Who's going to go around using the Arctic route?”

-Far East Asian countries will use the Arctic Ocean. s.h.i.+powners and s.h.i.+ppers put safety before economics.

To Youngho's knowledge, that could not be true.

Southeast Asia and Mediterranean countries would stick to the Suez Ca.n.a.l by all means.

Using the route going around Cape Town in South Africa was like the tail wagging the dog.

And countries in Southeast Asia or Northeast Asia, which were supplied oil from oil-producing countries near the Red Sea, were also forced to use the Arabian Sea.

The Arctic Ocean was a route mainly used by Far Eastern Asian countries and s.h.i.+p owners to and from northern European markets.

After finis.h.i.+ng the phone call with Michael, Youngho was still preoccupied.

Was the IS really behind this?

Although the IS was willing to act recklessly to show its presence, it was strange that the speedboat was only armed with a 20-millimeter cannon which was not enough to sink a large vessel. Also, the IS would have already shown off its doing to the whole world if it was their doing.

Youngho could not help but suspect that there might be other forces.

What if it used Somalia to diminish the Kazakh royal family's reputation?

Could China have ordered it? China even mobilized a human trafficking ring in Romania before, and it could mobilize terrorists as well.

The swift removal of the person responsible for ordering the attack was not like the IS's usual behavior.

The more he thought about it, the more suspicious China was.

China might be planning to use this as a cause to deploy its naval forces in the Arabian Sea as it became a stage for pirates and terrorists and Chinese s.h.i.+ps would be in danger.

Then another attack would be planned.

Since there was no evidence, the only way to prevent it was to get fully prepared to neutralize terrorist attacks.

The Kazakh Navy's Aegis destroyer 1001 was checking even fis.h.i.+ng boats that roamed the waters around the Gulf of Aden.

It was on full alert and if a s.h.i.+p was sailing at a faster speed than a fis.h.i.+ng boat, it was flying a Lynx helicopter.

Two helicopters were deployed on the Aegis destroyer, so there was little fatigue from the pilots as they took turns.

The reason for this tension was that two oil tankers in the Arirang s.h.i.+pping line, which were loaded with crude oil, had started sailing at the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

If a situation arose, s.h.i.+ps and tankers could last an hour with security guards on board, but if the attack weapon was a portable missile, they would not be able to handle it.

“Sgt. Zenkevich, what are you doing not paying attention to the radar? Can't you see the vessel moving at high speed on the screen?”

“Sir, they all look about the same speed to me?”

“Oh dear, there's a s.h.i.+p approaching the tanker fast.”

“Oh! I see. There's a boat that's a little fast.”

“Check the distance and calculate the speed.”

“It is estimated that the distance from the tanker is 20 kilometers and the speed is 30 knots.”

“Check it again. It looks like it should be at least 40 knots at a glance. Stay sharp!”

“Yes, sir.”

Among the countless dots on the radar screen, one of the dots was noticeable as its speed seemed faster than the others.

It was a difficult difference to spot for an unskilled person, but it could not escape Park's eyes.

Park Sung-won, a former South Korean Navy officer, served in the Aegis destroyer Sejong the Great before being discharged as a sergeant last year and was employed in the Kazakh Navy as a civilian-military officer.

He was one of more than 100 people who joined the Kazakh navy as a military officer after overcoming fierce compet.i.tion.

After hearing that he could get Kazakh citizens.h.i.+p and a job in the Kazakh navy after a year of s.h.i.+p service and four years of instructor duty in the Kazakh navy, he chose to go to Kazakhstan and was able to get a job on the Aegis s.h.i.+p.

Working in the Aegis radar room was so easy that he felt like he was taking a vacation every day.

All he had to do was teach job duties to Kazakh naval soldiers and learn Russian.

It was a great job with no on-call duties or overtime duties.

Since he was a civilian employee, not a soldier, no one interfered with him after he finished his duty.

Although it was inconvenient to live in a narrow s.h.i.+p, this was enough inconvenience to bear.

Recently, after finis.h.i.+ng operations in Syria, he was spending time fis.h.i.+ng on the Greek island of Arirang while on standby, but he had to come to the Gulf of Aden when an unexpected order of action was given.

-Officer, it is Park Sung-won, a civilian worker on duty in the radar room, reporting. There is a speedboat running at 40 knots of speed about 80 kilometers from our s.h.i.+p. The speedboat is heading in the direction of the tanker.

“What's the distance from the tanker?”

-The distance from the tanker is 20 kilometers. At this rate, I think it'll be in contact with the tanker in 30 minutes.

“All right. Military personnel Park Sung-won, please keep checking on it.”

Upon hearing Park's message, the official on duty issued an order to deploy the combat troops without delay.

“Officer on duty, order actual combat deployment.”

“Aye, aye. Sir.”

'Beep beep beep…'

A loud emergency bell was ringing in the Aegis destroyer.

Soon, the order was issued to the airwaves.

“Actual combat deployment. Actual combat deployment.”

The atmosphere inside the vessel was tense to hear the order for actual combat deployment for the first time although there had been frequent training combat deployments.

The chances were almost 100 percent that the unidentified s.h.i.+p, which approached the tanker at a speed of 40 knots, was either a pirate or a terrorist s.h.i.+p.

If they hesitated in this situation, things could go wrong.

Even if it turned out that the s.h.i.+p was not a pirate s.h.i.+p, fast action would be praised and it was not something to be criticized.

The officer on duty had the authority to order a combat deployment before reporting it to the captain in case of a situation.

The order was to report to the captain after taking the first action.

“Sir, there's a high-speed s.h.i.+p out there. This s.h.i.+p is 80 kilometers away from us and 20 kilometers from the tanker. The high-speed boat is heading in the direction of the tanker at 40 knots an hour. It'll be in contact with the tanker in half an hour.”

80 kilometers was a distance that would take an hour and a half even if the Aegis destroyer moved at its highest speed.

“Who found it?”

“It's Park Sung-won, a civilian worker on duty in the radar room.”

“He must have seen it accurately. Are all the Lynx helicopters back?”

“Yes. Both are back and on standby.”

“You said it was 80 kilometers away from our s.h.i.+p, right?

“That's right, sir.”

“Then have both Lynx helicopters on the go.”

Victor Jun, the captain and commander of the Aegis Destroyer 1001, noted Park Sung-won's report, who used to be a South Korean Navy.

The fact that he reported it directly, not going through other soldiers, was a sign of urgency.

“This is a naval officer on duty at the bridge. Prepare emergency departure of Lynx helicopters 1 and 2. The target coordinates are the 80-kilometer Arirang tanker in the northeast.”

-Lynx 1 and 2. We're ready for takeoff.

“Please be on the scene within 20 minutes. Evaluate whether an attack shall be carried out according to the situation on the site.”

-Lynx 1 and 2, we received the order. I'll get back to you in the field.

Empire Of The Ring Chapter 646

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Empire Of The Ring Chapter 646 summary

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