According to a statement released by US Central Command on Friday, a US Defense Department expert panel found that the drone used in the tragic attack on the Mercer Street commercial vessel was made in Iran.
As per the statement, an investigating team dispatched from the USS Ronald Reagan discovered that the ship was targeted off the coast of Oman on July 30 by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “loaded with a military-grade explosive.” Two people on board the ship were killed in the incident.
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The executive summary of an accompanying report stated that the use of Iranian designed and produced “one-way attack ‘kamikaze’ UAVs” is a growing trend in the region. “They are actively used by Iran and their proxies against coalition forces in the region, to include targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.”, it further clarified.
The investigation also found that the ship was targeted by two other unsuccessful UAV attacks on July 29, as well.
The report also stated that the attack on July 30 “required calculated and deliberate retargeting of M/T MERCER STREET by Iran”
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CENTCOM, after an on-scene analysis, revealed that “some of the material was transferred to U.S. Fifth Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain and subsequently to a U.S. national laboratory for further testing and verification,” and that the British experts “were provided access to the evidence at the Fifth Fleet headquarters” as well as “evidence was shared virtually with Israeli explosive experts.”
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The statement states that both the partners concur with the U.S. findings. Consequently, G7 Foreign Ministers issued a statement of condemnation that blames Iran for the attack.
The joint statement on Friday said, “all available evidence clearly points to Iran. There is no justification for this attack.”