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Incident Type: Attack
Location: Coast of Oman, Indian Ocean
Incident Date: 15 November 2022,1900hrs LT
Lat/Long: 22° 8' 48.00" N – 65° 9' 56.00" E
The Liberian-flagged oil tanker Pacific Zircon has reportedly been struck by a bomb-carrying drone off the coast of Oman. Eastern Pacific Shipping has stated the Pacific Zircon, carrying gas oil, had been “hit by a projectile” some 120nm off the coast of Oman. Some minor damage to the vessel’s hull, but no spillage of cargo or water ingress has been reported. UKMTO is aware of the incident and investigations are ongoing at this time. Vessel and Crew are reported safe.
Pacific Zircon is operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, which is a company owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer. As of yet, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Suspicion, however, has fallen on Iran. Iran and Israel have been engaged in a protracted shadow war throughout the region, including drone attacks that have targeted Israeli-associated vessels transiting the northern Arabian Sea and surrounding region. Including the 2021 drone attack on the Israeli-associated Mercer Street which killed two crewmembers.
There is also an ongoing risk of attacks on vessels and energy infrastructure in the region due to increasing tensions between U.S. and Iran over sanctions and stalled nuclear diplomacy.
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