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Officials: Drone That Hit Israeli-Owned Tanker Near Oman Was Launched from IRGC Base

A Shahed-136 drone is seen in the sky seconds before it hit buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
A Shahed-136 drone is seen in the sky seconds before it hit buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

An Iranian explosive-laden drone that struck an oil tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire off the coast of Oman this week was launched from an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps base in Iran, officials said Thursday.

The Liberian-flagged oil tanker Pacific Zircon was struck by a Shahed-136 on Tuesday night, causing damage but no injuries. Pacific Zircon is operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, which is a company ultimately owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.

According to a BBC report, a Western official said the drone was launched from the IRGC’s Air Force regional command in the southeastern city of Chabahar.

An Israeli defense source separately told Army Radio that the drone was launched from Iranian territory, saying, “The Iranians are no longer hiding behind their proxies. They have made a mistake and will not be able to evade [blame] for the action.”

Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, the head of United States Central Command, said in a statement that Iran was behind the attack.

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