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Iran blamed for another UAV attack on tanker

A Shahed-136 flies over Kyiv on 17 October. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran used a Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to attack an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, an Israeli source told Janes on 16 November.

The source described the attack as the latest in a series of incidents in which Iran has targeted tankers since 2019 and said it was aimed at destabilising the region as the FIFA World Cup begins in Qatar.

The Singapore-based company Eastern Pacific Shipping confirmed its tanker Pacific Zircon had been “hit by a projectile approximately 150 miles [241 km] off the coast of Oman at about 1530 [hour local time](UTC+4) on 15 November”, causing minor damage to the tanker's hull, but no casualties or leakage. The company is owned byIsraeli businessman Idan Ofer.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) released a statement saying that British and the US naval assets responded to an attack on Pacific Zircon, which it said took place at approximately 2000 hour, without giving a time zone. “Exploitation of the debris that hit the vessel reveals it was a Shahed-series one-way attack drone,” it said.

“This unmanned aerial vehicle attack against a civilian vessel in this critical maritime strait demonstrates, once again, the destabilising nature of Iran's malign activity in the region,” it quoted its commander, General Michael Kurilla, as saying.

The previous UAV attack on a ship blamed on Iran took place in July 2021. CENTCOM said its investigation showed two UAVs missed the tanker Mercer Street

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