Netanyahu accuses Iran of carrying out drone attack on Israeli-owned ship

Shipping databases link the oil tanker to a company owned by an Israeli businessman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran was harming international freedom of navigation. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that Iran was responsible for an attack on an oil tanker this month.

The captain of the Liberian-flagged Campo Square said on Saturday that his vessel was lightly damaged by an airborne object on February 10 while sailing through the Arabian Sea.

The vessel was attacked late at night when it was about 300 nautical miles off the coasts of India and Oman. It was not carrying any cargo.

Shipping databases linked the tanker to Zodiac Maritime, which is controlled by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer.

“Last week Iran again attacked an oil tanker in the [Arabian] Gulf and harmed the international freedom of navigation,” Mr Netanyahu said at a weekly cabinet meeting.

Regional defence and security sources have said they suspected the attack was carried out by Iran, which did not comment on the incident.

Tehran has rejected accusations it was behind similar attacks in the past few years.

British maritime security company Ambrey Intelligence said unmanned aerial systems had attacked two tankers and one bulk carrier in the Arabian Sea and assessed that Tehran had mounted the attack. Two of the merchant vessels were Israeli-owned, it said.

Updated: February 19, 2023, 11:37 AM