US military: Oil tanker was attacked by drone off Oman

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The Pentagon, home of the U.S. Department of Defense in Arlington, Va. 

U.S. Navy explosives experts said on Saturday that they believe an attack on an Israeli-linked oil tanker off Oman was a “drone strike,” according to The Associated Press.

“U.S. Navy explosives experts are aboard to ensure there is no additional danger to the crew, and are prepared to support an investigation into the attack,” the U.S. Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet said. “Initial indications clearly point to a (drone)-style attack.”

The AP noted that the fleet did not say how it had determined the attack was a drone strike, only citing “clear visual evidence that an attack had occurred.”

The United Kingdom (U.K.) on Sunday said it believes Iran is responsible for the attack on the Israeli-linked oil tanker, which killed two people.

“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, Reuters noted. “The U.K. is working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack.”

This assessment echoes accusations made by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has accused Iran of “trying to shirk responsibility.”

“I declare unequivocally: Iran is the one that carried out the attack on the ship,” Bennet said. “We, in any case, have our own way to relay the message to Iran.”

Iran has denied any involvement in the attack, Reuters notes.

A spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said at a news conference that the “Zionist regime [Israel] has created insecurity, terror and violence. … These accusations about Iran’s involvement are condemned by Tehran.”

On Thursday, it was reported that an oil tanker owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s company Maritime Zodiac had been attacked in the Arabian Sea, killing a British and Romanian worker on board.

Tags Aerial warfare airstrikes Drone strike Iran Iran–Israel proxy conflict Israel

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