Sullivan said, in a statement, that the ship was transiting in international waters off the coast of Oman, and “upon review of available information, we are confident that Iran likely carried out this attack using a drone, a deadly tool that it is using in an increasingly unmanned manner.” Directly and through its agents throughout the Middle East and Russia is using it in Ukraine.”
“There is no justification for this attack, which is the latest in a pattern of broader, destabilizing actions and activities, and further threatens freedom of navigation through this important waterway, as well as international trade, and the lives of those on ships,” he added.
It is noteworthy that an Israeli official said, earlier Wednesday, that the attack was “an Iranian provocation in the Gulf related to the World Cup in Qatar.”
“It’s not an attack on Israel, it’s the same thing they (the Iranians) do, usually in the Gulf, trying to destabilize and basically influence the World Cup events,” said the official, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the situation.
The official said the drone used in the attack was a Shahed 136, the same type of aircraft used in Ukraine.
The official pointed out that the ship that was bombed was a carrier flying the Liberian flag, owned by a Singaporean company, and had an Israeli affiliation, due to the partial ownership of the Singaporean company.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is scheduled to start next Sunday.
CNN reported that the attack did not cause serious damage to the ship.
A spokesman for the US Fifth Fleet, Timothy Hawkins, said earlier that the fleet was “aware of an incident” that occurred in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday night. He added in statements to CNN: “We are in contact with the ship, and there are no injuries or pollution.. and all members of the crew are safe,” pointing to some minor damage to the ship’s hull, but there is no leakage of cargo or water entering it, explaining that the attack did not disrupt it. The ship did not stop its voyage.
This came after the Eastern Pacific Shipping Company said in a statement that one of its commercial ships carrying a cargo of gas oil, called the “Pacific Zircon”, was hit by a missile 150 miles (about 240 kilometers) off the coast of Oman, on Tuesday.