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.
The attack happened on Tuesday night, the Middle East-based defence source said.
United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a British military organisation in the region monitoring shipping, told the Associated Press: “We are aware of an incident and it’s being investigated at this time.”
The official identified the vessel as the Liberian-flagged Pacific Zircon, operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, a company ultimately owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.
No one immediately claimed the attack, but suspicion immediately fell on Iran. Tehran and Israel have been involved in a years-long shadow war in the wider Middle East, with some drone attacks targeting Israeli-associated vessels travelling around the region.
The US also blamed Iran for a series of attacks off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in 2019. Tehran then started escalating its nuclear programme after the US unilaterally withdraw from its atomic deal with world powers.