Israel warns Iran of attacking tanker near Oman

Sher Ali
Israel warns Iran of attacking tanker near Oman
  • A US military official says a drone struck an oil tanker off the coast of Oman on Monday.
  • One Israeli official calls the attack “an Iranian provocation in the Gulf” related to the World Cup in Qatar.
  • Israel claims the drone was a self-destructing drone of the type deployed by Iran in Ukraine.

One Israeli official called the attack “an Iranian provocation in the Gulf” related to the World Cup in Qatar, while on Wednesday Israel accused Iran of launching a drone strike on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman.

A US military official told sources that at around 10 p.m. on Monday, a self-destructing drone struck the Pacific Zircon, a Liberian-flagged, Israeli-affiliated tanker transporting gas oil. According to the US official, the drone did not stop the ship from sailing.

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An Israeli official claimed the weapon was a self-destructing drone of the type deployed by the Iranians in Ukraine, the HESA Shahed 136. With the self-destructing drones it has given to Russia for use in the conflict in Ukraine, Iran has demonstrated the sophistication of its attack drone technology.

The Israeli official, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the situation, said,“We see this as an Iranian provocation in the Gulf – it’s not an attack against Israel – it’s the same thing they usually do in the Gulf, trying to disrupt stability and mainly influence World Cup events,”

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Exploitation of the wreckage that hit the vessel suggests that it was a Shahed-series one-way attack drone, the United States Central Command claimed in a later statement.

U.S. Central Command chief General Michael “Erik” Kurilla released a statement in which he claimed, “This unmanned aerial vehicle attack against a civilian vessel in this important maritime channel highlights, once again, the destabilising nature of Iranian malign behaviour in the region.”

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Eastern Pacific Shipping, the ship’s operator, reports that no one was hurt in the incident.

There have been no reports of injuries or pollution, and we have been in contact with the ship. They reported Wednesday that the entire crew was accounted for and was safe. The hull has moderate damage, but there was no cargo loss or flooding.

The tanker was last seen on Monday off the coast of Oman, close to the city of Liwa, as shown by Marine Traffic.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement that Iran was likely responsible for a drone assault, calling it “the latest in a pattern of similar operations and larger destabilising activities,” adding that there was “no justification for this attack.”

According to Sullivan’s assessment of the available evidence, “we are certain that Iran likely executed this attack using a UAV,” a deadly technology that Iran is increasingly utilising directly and via its proxies throughout the Middle East and exporting to Russia for use in Ukraine.

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He expressed concern that this would endanger “freedom of travel via this critical waterway” and international trade.

In an effort to get a statement from the Iranian government,sources has reached out to them.

Similar attacks with similar weapons and targets have been attributed to Iran in the past. Two people were killed on July 30, 2021, when a Mercer Street cargo ship was assaulted by a weaponized drone off the coast of Oman. An Israeli tycoon was connected to that vessel.

Iran is one of 32 countries sending soccer teams and fans to Qatar for the World Cup, which begins on Sunday.


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