Evidence has shown that drones used in the attack on the Israeli-managed tanker off Oman’s coast on Thursday were made in Iran, US experts say in a report released by the US Central Command.
The report added that the tanker was targeted by two unsuccessful explosive drone attacks on the evening of July 29.
Investigators found small remnants of at least one of the drones used in the attack, adding that one of the drones was loaded with a military-grade explosive.
“The explosive detonation following the drone impact created an approximately 6-foot diameter hole in the top side of the pilothouse and badly damaged the interior. Explosive chemical tests were indicative of a Nitrate-based explosive and identified as RDX, indicating the drone had been rigged to cause injury and destruction,” the report revealed.
Explosives experts were reportedly able to recover several pieces of one of the drones, including a vertical stabilizer, part of the wing, and internal components which were nearly identical to previously collected examples from Iranian one-way attack drones.
“The distance from the Iranian coast to the locations of the attacks was within the range of documented Iranian one-way attack drones,” the statement added.
Two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed when a petroleum products tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime came under attack on Thursday off Oman’s coast, the company said on Friday.
London-based Zodiac said on its website that the attack in the Arabian Sea on the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged Japanese-owned ship, was still being investigated.
An unnamed senior Israeli official blamed Iran for the attack and said that the ship was hit with a drone, according to Israel’s Channel 13 TV.