A suspected Iranian drone attack on an Israeli-linked oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman Tuesday night blew a hole in the vessel, but no one was injured or killed, according to a US military official.
The 600-foot Pacific Zircon was attacked by a drone while sailing in the Gulf of Oman, officials said. The attack left a hole in the rear of the ship, but the ship was not neutralized, they added.
Pacific Zircon is owned by Eastern Pacific Shipping, a Singapore-based company founded by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.
The company’s CEO, Cyril Ducault, told The Wall Street Journal that the crew was safe and that the ship suffered only minor damage. Said it was still sailing.
The US military has condemned the attack as another sign of Iran’s threat to the Middle East.
“This unmanned aerial vehicle attack against a civilian vessel in this critical strait once again demonstrates the precarious nature of Iran’s malicious activity in the region,” said Michael Eric, chief of U.S. Central Command.・General Krilla described US military operations in the Middle East.
An Israeli official said the drone used in Tuesday’s attack was a Shahed-136, the same type of Iranian drone used by Russia to carry out a series of attacks in Ukraine. rice field.
Western officials said Iran used Shahed-136 drones to carry out a similar attack on another Israeli-linked tanker in the same region last year. He said he didn’t know what kind of drone he was using.
The attack comes amid growing concerns about Iran’s military threat to the region as Tehran grapples with prolonged protests at home that have undermined the government’s grip on power.
Tehran launched a series of drone and missile attacks against Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and publicly threatened Saudi Arabia for inciting protests in Iran.
Last year, the United States accused Iran of carrying out a deadly drone attack on an Israeli-linked oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, killing two crew members. Western officials said Iran used Shah-136 drones to attack tankers on Mercer Street. Iran denied any involvement in the attack.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and the United States shared information suggesting Iran was poised to carry out attacks on the kingdom’s economic targets, but officials said the threat was imminent after the journal reported on the warning. said it had calmed down.
Iran has responded to two months of protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Martha Amini, who died in moral police custody after protesting a country law requiring women to cover their hair. are facing increasing pressure at home and abroad.
Israel and Iran have been engaged in a years-long shadow war that has spread across the Middle East. Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria as part of a campaign to thwart Tehran’s efforts to expand its military influence across the region.
Iran also accused Israel of using mines to target Iranian ships in the Red Sea last year.
Most recently, Israel struck a convoy of suspected Iranian weapons on the Iraqi-Syrian border, killing at least 10 people, according to people familiar with the attack.
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