U.S. military says it was attacking tankers from Oman


Dubai — The U.S. Navy is supporting an Israeli-controlled oil tanker that was fatally attacked off Oman on Thursday, the U.S. military said Saturday, and the ship may have been hit by a drone strike. He added that it was expensive.

The US Central Army said in a statement that the Japanese-owned Liberia-flagged vessel, Mercer Street, is currently being escorted by the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

“U.S. Navy explosives experts are on board to ensure that the crew is at no additional risk and are ready to assist in investigating the attack,” said the United States in the Middle East and Central Asia. Said the Central Command, which oversees military operations in the United States.

“The first signs clearly indicate a UAV-style (drone) attack,” he added.

Israeli Foreign Minister blamed Iran for an attack on Friday, killing two crew members, a British and a Romanian.

US and European sources familiar with intelligence coverage said Iran was the main suspect in the case on Friday.

The explosives disposal engineer assigned to the Explosives Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 prepares the equipment in response to a request for assistance from the Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime-managed Japanese-owned Liberia-flagged ship, Mercer Street. .. Arabian Sea, July 30, 2021. (Distribution via US Navy / Reuters)

Al Alam TV, the Iranian government’s Arabic television network, said the ship was attacked in response to Israel’s suspicious and unspecified attack on Syria’s Dava Airport, citing unnamed sources.

There was no immediate official response from Iran to the accusation that Iran may have been liable.

This ship is managed by Zodiac Maritime, which is owned by Israel. The company said on Friday that the vessel was sailing to a safe place with US Navy escorts under the control of the crew and on its own.

Iran and Israel have exchanged accusations of attacking each other’s ships in recent months.

The UK Coast Guard (UKMTO), which provides maritime security information, said the vessel was about 152 nautical miles northeast of Duqm Port in Oman when it was attacked.

According to Refinitiv’s vessel tracking, medium-sized tankers headed from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

By Maher Chmaytelli