Tue, 06 Dec 2022

Oil tanker hit by drone in Gulf of Oman - media

16 Nov 2022, 23:31 GMT+10

The vessel owned by an Israeli tycoon sustained some minor damage, with no casualties reported

An oil tanker, which belongs to an Israeli billionaire, has been struck by what is suspected to be an Iranian bomb-carrying drone in the Gulf of Oman, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

The attack took place on Tuesday night off the coast of Oman and targeted the Liberian-flagged oil tanker the Pacific Zircon, the Associated Press said, citing an unnamed defense official. The vessel is operated by the Eastern Pacific Shipping company, which is owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.

In a statement, the company said that the Pacific Zircon, which was loaded with gas oil, "was hit by a projectile," without providing any more details on a possible culprit behind the attack. At the same time, it noted that while the vessel's hull had sustained "some minor damage," there is "no spillage of cargo or water ingress."

According to the shipping company, there are "no reports of injuries or pollution." "All crew are safe and accounted for," it added.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources, that the tanker was hit by a single drone that could be linked to Iran. According to people familiar with the incident, the attack made a hole in the back of the vessel, but it was not put out of service.

No party has so far claimed responsibility for the incident.

In recent years, the Gulf of Oman has been the focus of regional tensions. In July 2021, another tanker was hit in a suspected drone attack, leaving two crew members dead. The incident sparked a backlash from the G7, which pinned the blame on Iran. At the time, Tehran denied involvement, dismissing the group's statement as "baseless."

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