[Ed. – The attack occurred in the Gulf of Oman. I haven’t seen what the precise location was, but longer-range drones could have been launched from either Iran or Yemen, where the Houthis reportedly had warned of a resurgent campaign against global shipping.]
A ship attacked off the coast of Oman is raising tensions between Israel and Iran as Israel’s Foreign Minister slammed Iran on Friday as an exporter of terrorism, destruction, instability and a threat to the freedom of navigation. Pro-Iran social media accounts and a report at Al-Alam TV has said Iran carried out the attack on the ship in response to an airstrike in Syria that Iran blames on Israel.
New details of the attack on the 600-foot long Mercer Street tanker have revealed that drones were used to spread death and destruction. Two were killed in the attack. The New York Times reported that two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said that “the attack appeared to have been carried out by several unmanned Iranian drones that crashed into living quarters underneath the ship’s command center, or bridge.” This looks like a serious and complex attack that is not just a major escalation, but a new use of Iran drone technology.
THE REPORTED use of numerous drones against the Mercer Street could mark a new era in the Middle East and a major red line as drones are being used against ships.