An oil tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire has been hit by an explosive drone off the coast of Oman, news agencies reported on Wednesday.
The Associated Press quoted a Mideast-based defense official as saying that the attack happened Tuesday night off the coast of Oman.
The AP said 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.
Meanwhile, Reuters news agency quoted Commander Timothy Hawkins as saying that the United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet is aware of an incident taking place on Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman involving a commercial vessel.
The UK maritime Trade Operations, a British military organization in the region monitoring shipping, also said they were aware of the attack.
“We are aware of an incident and it’s being investigated at this time,” the organization said.
Later on Wednesday, Eastern Pacific Shipping issued a statement in which it said the Pacific Zircon, carrying gas oil, had been “hit by a projectile” some 150 miles (240 kilometers) off the coast of Oman.
“We are in communication with the vessel and there are no reports of injuries or pollution. All crew are safe and accounted for,” the company said. “There is some minor damage to the vessel’s hull but no spillage of cargo or water ingress.”
Israeli and US media accused Iran of being behind the attack. An Israeli official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss unpublicized details of the attack, claimed that it appeared Iran carried out the attack with a Shahed-136 exploding drone.