Israeli, U.S. Sources Blame Iran for Deadly Ship Attack
Israeli, U.S. and European sources are pointing the finger at Iran over an attack on Friday off the coast of Oman on a Japanese-owned vessel, managed by a company run by an Israeli businessman, resulting in the death of two crew members.
The Zodiac Maritime, the U.K.-based company operating the ship, first broke the news, and said that the victims were from Romania and the U.K., adding that it wasn't aware of harm to any other personnel.
Update on the situation involving the M/T Mercer Street: pic.twitter.com/sRuuyvwLA8
— Zodiac Maritime (@Zodiac_Maritime) July 30, 2021
Israeli sources believe an unmanned drone was used in the attack, with the New York Times reporting that multiple drones crashed into the living quarters of the vessels.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that he is in contact with his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, over the incident, and stressed the need to respond harshly to the attack.
"Iran is not just an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability that affects the whole world. We can never remain silent in the face of Iranian terrorism, which also harms freedom of navigation," Lapid said.
An Israeli diplomat blamed Iran for the attack, saying it is "sowing violence and destruction in every corner of the region. Out of their appetite to attack an Israeli target, they got tangled up, and incriminated themselves by killing foreign civilians." Israeli security officials are currently meeting to assess the situation.
July 3, 2021
A commercial ship previously under Israeli ownership was attacked in the northern Indian Ocean
June 2, 2021
Iran's largest navy ship sinks after catching fire in the Gulf
April 13, 2021
Israeli owned ship attacked next to the UAE, Israel blamed Iran
April 6, 2021
Iranian ship damaged by land-mines that were attached to it in the Red Sea, the attack was attributed to Israel
March 25, 2021
Israeli-owned container ship hit by an Iranian rocket in the Arabian Sea
February 25, 2021
Israeli-owned ship damaged in explosion in the Gulf of Oman, Israel calls it "a deliberate Iranian terror attack"
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department expressed concern on the reported attack, and said that it is monitoring the situation very closely.
U.S. and European sources familiar with intelligence reporting also told Reuters they believe that Iran is the leading suspect in the attack, though U.S. and European governments are still seeking conclusive evidence.
>> Leaked Iranian intel sheds light on proxy war with Israel
According to one source speaking to Al-Alam News Network, an Iranian Arabic-language news channel, the attack was indeed carried out by Iran, and was a response to Israel's strike on an airport in the Quseir region of Syria last week.