Drone targets oil tanker run by Israeli businessman in Oman

The Pacific Zircon tanker “was hit by a projectile” at a distance of 240 km from the coast of Oman.

An oil tanker owned by an Israeli businessman was attacked by a drone bombing off the coast of the Sultanate of Oman, while the United States and an Israeli official accused Iran of being behind the attack, local media reported.

A defense official in the Middle East confirmed on Wednesday to Associated Press, that the attack took place on, Tuesday, off the coast of Oman, explaining that the ship was carrying the flag of Liberia, and was named “Pacific Zircon”.

Pacific Zircon is operated by the “Eastern Pacific Shipping” company, based in Singapore, while the aforementioned company is owned by the wealthy Israeli, Idan Ofer.

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In a statement issued by Eastern Pacific Shipping, the company said that the Pacific Zircon tanker “was hit by a projectile” at a distance of 240 km from the coast of Oman.

“The attack on a civilian ship in a vital strait proves Iran’s destabilizing activities,” said US Central Command commander Brad Cooper, in a statement to Qatar’s Al-Jazeera channel.

For its part, Reuters news agency quoted a spokesman as saying, “The US Fifth Fleet is aware of an incident involving a merchant ship in the Gulf of Oman.”

Reuters quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying, “Iran used a drone of the type supplied to Russia in Ukraine in the attack on the tanker.”

The British military’s Maritime Trade Organization, which monitors shipping activities in the region, confirmed the attack.

The organization said, “Investigations are currently underway to find out the details of the attack.”

For its part, the company that owns the “Pacific Zircon” announced that the ship was carrying gas oil, and it sustained minor damage to its hull without the cargo leaking or injuries among the crew members.


On Tuesday, the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet said it had intercepted a fishing vessel that was smuggling large quantities of explosive materials as it was transiting from Iran on a route in the Gulf of Oman used to smuggle weapons to the Yemeni Houthi group.

The Fifth Fleet said in a statement that the US forces had found more than 70 tons of ammonium chlorate, which is commonly used in the manufacture of missile fuel as well as explosives.

Accusing Iran

The Israeli Army Radio accused Iran of being responsible for the attack, after it quoted a senior security official as saying that Tehran was behind the attack. 

It quoted an unnamed senior security official as saying: “Iran is behind the attack, and it is an Iranian attempt to interfere in the Qatar World Cup (between November 20 and December 18).”

In the past years, oil tankers and commercial ships in the Gulf have been attacked using drones and naval mines.

On Wednesday, the United States of America condemned the attack on the tanker in a statement issued by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, accusing Iran of carrying out the attack.

“After reviewing the available information, we are certain that Iran likely carried out this attack using the drone, an increasingly deadly weapon that it has used, through its proxies throughout the Middle East, and transferred to Russia for use in Ukraine,” Sullivan said.

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