Tanker owned by Israeli reportedly attacked by Iranian drone in Arabian Sea

Operator says Campo Square lightly damaged when hit by an airborne object, denies report Iranian naval vessels involved in attack last week

A screenshot of video showing the Campo Square oil tanker. (YouTube screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A screenshot of video showing the Campo Square oil tanker. (YouTube screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A tanker owned by an international company headed by an Israeli was targeted last week by an apparent suicide drone in the Arabian Sea, according to a report Friday.

Citing a US military official and a regional military source, BBC Persian said the attack on the Campo Square involved several Iranian ships and likely the Shahed 136 drone, which Russia has been using in its invasion of Ukraine.

According to the BBC, filings showed the Campo Square belongs to Zodiac Maritime Company, owned by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer. Zodiac said in response that the tanker is managed by a Greek company, Eletson.

Eletson later confirmed the incident, but denied that Iranian naval vessels were involved.

“Eletson confirms an incident involving our managed vessel, the Liberian flagged product tanker, Campo Square,” the statement said.

“The vessel, free of cargo in ballast transit, was hit by an airborne object while in the Arabian Sea approximately 300 nautical miles off the coasts of India and Oman,” Eletson said, adding that the incident occurred February 10.

“We can confirm that both the vessel and crew are safe and proceeding as per planned passage. There is minor damage to the vessel,” the company said, adding that they “have made the necessary notifications to the relevant authorities.”

The military source was quoted saying the attack could signal an “intensification of Iran’s threatening actions against shipping in the region.”

The source also told the reporter that Iran itself carried out the attack.

The British Foreign Office said that it was working to clarify the matter, while stressing ships must be allowed to navigate freely.

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