Friday, December 2, 2022

Israeli-linked tanker hit by bomb-carrying drone off Oman

An oil tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire has been struck by a bomb-carrying drone off the coast of Oman amid heightened tensions with Iran, officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The attack on the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Pacific Zircon happened on Tuesday night off the coast of Oman, one Mideast-based defence official said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they did not have authorization to discuss the attack publicly.
The Pacific Zircon is operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, which is a company ultimately owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.
In a statement, Eastern Pacific Shipping said the Pacific Zircon, carrying gas oil, had been “hit by a projectile” some 150 miles (240 kilometres) off the coast of Oman.
“We are in communication with the vessel and there is no reports of injuries or pollution. All crew are safe and accounted for,” the company said. “There is some minor damage to the vessel’s hull but no spillage of cargo or water ingress.”
An Israeli official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss unpublicised details of the attack, said that it appeared Iran carried out the attack with a Shahed-136 exploding drone.
Iran has supplied those drones to Russia, which has been using them to target infrastructure and civilian targets in Ukraine.
“It is an Iranian attack, there is a consensus on this in the Israeli intelligence and defence community,” the official said.
Iran’s government did not acknowledge the attack on the Pacific Zircon. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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