Post suicide-drone bombing, US and Israel rally to challenge Iran

“Initial indications clearly point to a UAV-style [drone] attack,” said the U.S. Central Command in a statement.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

After a suspected Iranian suicide drone bombing of an Israeli-managed ship killed two crew members, the U.S. and Israel are partnering to combat the threat of Iranian terrorism in the region, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said.

The Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned oil tanker was passing through the Gulf of Oman on Friday. The ship is managed by a company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

In what American and Israeli officials described as a suicide drone bombing, a British and Romanian citizen aboard the Mercer Street were killed.

The U.S. Central Command said in a statement Friday that aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was providing assistance to the attacked ship.

Referring to the cause of the blast, the statement said that “initial indications clearly point to a UAV-style [drone] attack.”

“U.S. Navy explosives experts are aboard to ensure there is no additional danger to the cre, and are prepared to support an investigation into the attack.”

On Friday evening, Lapid said in a statement on Twitter that he’d consulted with his counterpart in the American government, Antony Blinken, and that the two men were working on strategy to counter the Iranian threat.

“I spoke tonight with the Secretary of State @SecBlinken regarding the attack on the ship in the Gulf of Oman. We are working together against Iranian terrorism, which is a threat to all of us, and are formulating a real and effective international response,” he wrote.

Adding that he’d spoken with UK and Romanian officials, Lapid said that “Iran repeatedly errs in understanding our commitment to defending ourselves and our interests.”

Channel 13 reported that the attack was likely carried out by Iran as revenge for an alleged Israeli cyberattack on Tehran last month, which severely disrupted the city’s metro system.

Iranian state-owned news agency Al-Alam said the attack on Mercer Street was a response to an Israeli strike in Syria against Iranian assets in the country last week, which reportedly killed “two resistance men.”