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U.S. accuses Iran of drone strike on Israeli billionaire’s oil tanker in Gulf of Oman

News 360 logo News 360 16-11-2022 Daniel Stewart
Archive - Launch of an Iranian military drone - Iranian Army Office/ZUMA Press W / DPA © Provided by News 360 Archive - Launch of an Iranian military drone - Iranian Army Office/ZUMA Press W / DPA

U.S. officials have accused Iran of attacking an oil tanker owned by an Israeli billionaire with a drone while it was sailing in the waters of the Gulf of Oman, an event they say "further" threatens freedom of navigation in the area.

"Upon review of available information, we are confident that Iran likely carried out this attack using an unmanned aerial vehicle, a lethal capability it is increasingly employing directly and through its proxies throughout the Middle East and proliferating in Russia for use in Ukraine," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

Thus, the US national security official remarked that "there is no justification" for this attack, which is "the latest in a pattern of such broader destabilizing actions and activities".

Finally, Sullivan conveyed to the affected parties the firm commitment of US President Joe Biden to "support the free flow of commerce" through the waterways of the Middle East. He also thanked the United Kingdom for being the first to raise the alarm regarding the attack on the vessel 'Pacific Zircon'.

ISRAEL SUBSCRIBES TO THE ACCUSATIONS For their part, Israeli military sources have told the DPA agency that Jerusalem also considers that Teheran is behind the attack on the oil tanker off the coast of Oman, an act which, they say, is in line with Iran's destabilizing aspirations in the region.

The aforementioned source has gone a step further than the United States and has advanced that Iran would have made use of a Shahed-136 drone, a model which, it says, Tehran has recently been supplying to Moscow in the framework of its offensive against Ukraine, which began nearly nine months ago.

An oil tanker owned by an Israeli millionaire was hit late Tuesday by a drone in the Gulf of Oman, an event that resulted in material damage but no casualties, according to a British security company and sources quoted by the U.S. newspaper 'The Wall Street Journal'.

The attacked ship was transiting the Gulf of Oman when it was hit by an unmanned device, according to the sources of the American newspaper, who point out that it could be of Iranian manufacture, although for the moment there is no official confirmation.

The incident took place hours after the U.S. Fifth Fleet announced the interception in the Gulf of Oman of a "fishing vessel" carrying "lethal aid", including "a large quantity of explosive materials", from Iran to the Huthis, without Tehran having commented on the matter.

The war in Yemen pits the internationally recognized government, now represented by the Presidential Leadership Council and supported by the international coalition led by Saudi Arabia, against the Huthis, backed by Iran. The Huthis control the capital, Sana'a, and areas in the north and west of the country.

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, is trying to bring the parties closer together to relaunch the peace process, after the truce agreed in April to mark the beginning of the month of Ramadan and subsequently extended on several occasions expired in October.

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