Israel on Wednesday accused Iran of launching a drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman, with one official describing it as “an Iranian provocation in the Gulf” linked to the World Cup in Qatar.
A self-destructing drone attacked the Pacific Zircon, a Liberian-flagged, Israeli-affiliated tanker carrying gasoline oil, at about 10 p.m. Monday however it didn’t trigger main injury, a US army official instructed CNN. The drone didn’t disable the ship or interrupt its journey, the US official mentioned.
“We are in communication with the vessel and there is no reports of injuries or pollution. All crew are safe and accounted for,” Eastern Pacific Shipping, the vessel’s working firm, mentioned Wednesday. “There is some minor damage to the vessel’s hull but no spillage of cargo or water ingress.”
Marine Traffic confirmed the final identified place for the tanker off the coast of Oman close to Liwa on Monday.
The Israeli official mentioned the weapon was an Iranian “HESA Shahed 136 self-destructing drone, the same ones being used in Ukraine.” Iran has despatched its self-destructing drones to Russia for use in the conflict in Ukraine, underscoring the extent to which Iran has developed its attack drone expertise.
“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,” mentioned the Israeli official, who requested to not be named because of the sensitivity of the scenario.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan mentioned Iran was seemingly behind a drone attack, saying in an announcement that whereas there may be “is no justification for this attack” it’s “the latest in a pattern of such actions and broader destabilizing activities.”
“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran likely conducted this attack using a UAV, a lethal capability it is increasingly employing directly and via its proxies throughout the Middle East and proliferating to Russia for use in Ukraine,” Sullivan mentioned.
He warned the motion threatens worldwide delivery, commerce and the “freedom of navigation through this crucial waterway.”
CNN has reached out to the Iranian authorities for remark.
The weapon and the goal match the sample of assaults linked to Iran in the previous. On July 30, 2021, an armed drone attacked a cargo ship named Mercer Street off the coast of Oman, killing two. That ship was related to an Israeli billionaire.
Soccer groups and supporters from 32 nations, together with Iran, are gathering in Qatar forward of the World Cup, which kicks off on Sunday.