Debris analysis shows Iranian-made drone attacked tanker – US Navy
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Tuesday that analysis of the debris concluded that the same type of Iranian drone that Tehran supplied Russia for its invasion of Ukraine was used to attack a commercial tanker in the off the coast of Oman a week ago.
The Bahrain-based US Navy’s 5th Fleet has released photos and details of its investigation into the attack on the Liberian-flagged tanker Pacific Zircon, including debris from the Shahed-136 drone itself.
In a statement, the Navy said the drone punched a 30-inch-wide (76 cm) hole in the stern of the ship and the explosive impact damaged an onboard boiler, a drinking water tank and a life raft.
“Iran’s attack on a commercial tanker transiting international waters was deliberate, flagrant and dangerous, endangering the lives of the ship’s crew and destabilizing maritime security in the Middle East,” Vice Admiral Brad said. Cooper, the highest ranking US Navy commander in the Middle East. , said in a statement.
Gulf waters have seen attacks on tankers in recent years that have come at times of heightened regional tensions with Iran. In July 2021, a suspected drone attack hit an oil tanker run by an Israeli company off the coast of Oman. Iran has denied the charges for which it was responsible.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)