Friday, December 2, 2022

US claims Iranian-made drone hit oil tanker off Oman waters

An attack on a ship off the coast of Oman was carried out by an Iranian-made drone, US Central Command said in a statement. It added that a multilateral maritime operation led by a British Royal Navy frigate had responded to the scene.

An Israeli official had blamed Iran for the strike on the Pacific Zircon tanker managed by Israeli-controlled Eastern Pacific Shipping. The company announced there was minor damage to the hull but no injuries or spillage of the gas oil cargo.

A White House official earlier said the United States was “confident that Iran likely conducted” the hit using an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Iran’s Nournews, which is affiliated with the country’s top security body, blamed Israel for the attack.

US Central Command said in a statement on Wednesday that debris “reveals that it was a Shahed-series one-way attack drone” that hit the vessel, identifying it as Iranian-made.

“This unmanned aerial vehicle attack against a civilian vessel in this critical maritime strait demonstrates, once again, the destabilizing nature of Iranian malign activity in the region,” the Central Command statement added.

It stated a multilateral operation responded to the scene led by the British Royal Navy’s HMS Lancaster. US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans and a US Navy patrol coastal ship and patrol craft were involved in the operation.

Attacks on tankers in Persian Gulf waters in recent years have come at times of heightened regional tensions with Iran.

The United States blamed Iran for a series of attacks occurring off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in 2019. Tehran denies those allegations.

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