Israeli-owned oil tanker hit by bomb-carrying drone off Oman

The attacked vessel belongs to Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, a company owned by billionaire Idan Ofer; UK's military organization in the region say they are aware of the incident and its being investigated

Associated Press|
An oil tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire has been struck by a bomb-carrying drone off the coast of Oman amid heightened tensions with Iran, an official said on Wednesday.
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  • The attack happened Tuesday night off the coast of Oman, the Mideast-based defense official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as they did not have authorization to discuss the attack publicly.
    2 View gallery
    מכלית דרום קוריאנית של דרום קוריאה שנתפסה על ידי כוחות ימיים של משמרות המהפכה של איראן ב מצר הורמוז המפרץ הפרסי
    מכלית דרום קוריאנית של דרום קוריאה שנתפסה על ידי כוחות ימיים של משמרות המהפכה של איראן ב מצר הורמוז המפרץ הפרסי
    South Korean tanker apprehended by Iranian forces recently
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a British military organization in the region monitoring shipping, told the AP: "We are aware of an incident and it's being investigated at this time."
    The official identified the vessel attacked as the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Pacific Zircon. That tanker is operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, which is a company ultimately owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.
    A phone number for Eastern Pacific rang unanswered Wednesday.
    2 View gallery
    כטב"מ כטב"ם מל"ט של איראן ב תרגיל שנפתח ב-24 באוגוסט
    כטב"מ כטב"ם מל"ט של איראן ב תרגיל שנפתח ב-24 באוגוסט
    Iranian drone illustration
    (Photo: Reuters)
    While no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, suspicion immediately fell on Iran. Tehran and Israel have been engaged in a yearslong shadow war in the wider Middle East, with some drone attacks targeting Israeli-associated vessels traveling around the region.
    The U.S. also blamed Iran for a series of attacks occurring off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in 2019. Tehran then had begun escalating its nuclear program following the U.S.' unilateral withdrawal from its atomic deal with world powers.
    Iranian state media did not immediately acknowledge the attack on the Pacific Zircon.
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