Sal Island is a small and uninhabited island located in the Strait of Hormuz, approximately 10 nautical miles from the Omani coast. The island is a part of Iran’s territorial waters and is claimed by both Oman and Iran. The island has been the site of several skirmishes between the two countries over the past few decades. On 4 July 2007, an Iranian fishing boat was sunk by a missile fired by an Omani naval vessel while it was fishing in Iranian territorial waters. On 12 December 2007, an unmanned Iranian drone was shot down by an Omani military aircraft over Sal Island.
The island is believed to have been first settled by the Bani Salim tribe in the late 18th century. In 1794, it was claimed by the Omani Sultan Qasim bin Muhammad as part of a treaty of friendship with Britain. Sal Island remained under Omani control until 1865, when it was captured by British forces during the First World War and transferred to Iranian control as part of the Treaty of Zand. The island subsequently became a trading post for goods smuggled across Hormuz Strait between Iran and Saudi Arabia. At the outbreak of the Iran–Iraq War in 1980, Sal Island housed a major Iranian naval base.
On 15 April 1987, USS Cowpens was conducting an unannounced ASW exercise near Hormuz when it mistakenly attacked a F-14 from “USS Vincennes” (CVN 74) which had taken off from Bandar Abbas. The Kuwait island of Bubiyan and two nearby outposts in Iranian waters were also destroyed by air strikes – both raids have been attributed to several pilots forgetting orders at precisely 6am as they struggled with jetlag and fatigue over six straight days of operations.
The island has a hot, arid climate. The island experiences the hottest months of Egypt, with mean temperatures reaching 33.5 C (91 F). The coldest month is December, where it can fall below 0 °C on some days; January and February are around 16–17 °C at night only, further modifying sea temperature by 15–20 °C due to flat terrain. Snowfall occurs about once in ten years or so.
Almost all the inhabitants of Sal Island, except a small number of Omanis, are Shi’a Mussels. Shi’a Mussels are concentrated mainly in the towns of Sal, Nuqman and Harrat. The island is known for its handicrafts, particularly woven carpets. Despite Persian ownership, few Iranians have settled on Sal Island. Most islanders are Sunni-following Muslims, who of course also follow the traditional Islamic customs in their daily lives (Shi’a Mussel religion is mostly present only among a minority of people). The island’s inhabitants mainly trade with local Arabia, Iran and Pakistan; they produce dhow sails as export decoration items which can be found all over Makkah.
The island is under the administration of the Governorate of Minya, a governorate located in Upper Egypt. Amin El-Masry is currently governor. The island bears the remains of a 4,500-year old fishing settlement. Some 5,000 people lived on Sal Island in 1930.
The sizable islands of Shaloqol (or “Maltese Man”) and Bubiyan lie off its shores at certain points westward indicating close ancient association with Malta through trading networks linking this island to East Mediterranean ports such as Sidon/Tyre where Phoenician cargo ships may have moored for loading (and probably unloading), which were well documented from the Ugarit texts recovered by William Henry Fox Talbot in the nineteenth century. Today, Sal Island is sparsely settled with a population of fewer than 1,000 people.
Mail, telephones, and electricity are provided by the Egyptian state. There is no airport on Sal Island; passengers arrive via ferry from either Nuqman or Harrat. The island’s residents sail weekly to Gaza, via a three-hour trip by speedboat, or they take the longer but more reliable route of traveling overland through post offices in Khasab on Nuqman Island and Rafah in Sinai.
Local labor is provided as seasonal agricultural workers by Egyptians working offshore Abu Musa (and associated oil rigs) until late spring/early summer when most are sent back home to their villages because of the hardship and requirement for them being paid extra money per day due to rough seas during storms at times which can be danger eonous if someone falls or gets swept overboard.
There is little tourism on Sal Island; the only visitor facility is a small hotel and beach bar. The island can be reached by boat from Nuqman, a small island to the southeast that is home to a police station as well. There is a name commonly used to describe the island of Sal, “abch” or ‘pool’ in English. This description does not appear on official maps nor can it be found in any topographical listing for this island group as published by government offices, though many locals may have heard it described variously over time.
Sal Island is an uninhabited, coral atoll in the Indian Ocean that has been cited as a habitat for the endangered hawksbill turtle. The Sal Island is also known for its sprawling mangroves, which provide a habitat for a variety of fish and other marine life.
1 ) What Is Sal Island?
Sal Island is a small coral island located in the Strait of Hormuz, approximately 10 nautical miles from the Omani coast. The island is claimed by both Oman and Iran. The island has been the site of several skirmishes between the two countries over the past few decades.
2) How Long Has Sal Island Been Disputed Territory?
The dispute over Sal Island dates back to at least 1971, when Iran asserted its territorial claims in response to provocative actions taken by Omani forces near Iranian shipping vessels in Persian Gulf waters. Since that time , skirmishes have taken place near the island on a regular basis, with each side accusing the other of violations of airspace and territorial waters.
3) What Is The Latest Incident Involving Sal Island?
On 4 July 2007, an Iranian fishing boat was sunk by a missile fired by an Omani naval vessel while it was fishing in Iranian territorial waters. In December 2007, an unmanned Iranian drone was shot down by an Omani military aircraft over Sal Island.
4) Are There Any Settlements Or Inhabited Areas On Sal Island?
No, there are no settlements or inhabited areas onSal Island .
5) What Is The Wildlife On Sal Island?
The island is home to a variety of seabirds and marine life, including hawksbill turtles, barracudas, eels, mackerels, and coral reefs.