The US Central Command revealed on Friday findings of an investigation that blamed Iran for a July 30 suicide drone assault that killed two crew members.
The assault on the Mercer Road vessel — a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by an Israeli firm — left a Briton and Romanian lifeless, drawing worldwide condemnation.
In a press release Friday, US CENTCOM stated that an skilled explosive investigative group from the USS Ronald Reagan had examined proof from the ship and interviewed survivors.
The group discovered that the Mercer Road had been focused by “two unsuccessful explosive unmanned aerial automobiles (UAV) assaults” on July 29, the evening earlier than the profitable strike, with remnants of at the least one of many drones from these makes an attempt having been retrieved on board.
The July 30 strike was discovered to have accomplished intensive injury to the vessel, photographs of which CENTCOM additionally printed.
It stated that the UAV was “loaded with a military-grade explosive,” and that its influence “created an roughly 6-foot diameter gap within the topside of the pilot home and badly broken the inside.”
“Explosive chemical checks had been indicative of a Nitrate-based explosive and recognized as RDX, indicating the UAV had been rigged to trigger harm and destruction,” CENTCOM stated.
The group additionally was in a position to get better a number of items of the UAV, together with part of the wing and inside parts that had been “almost similar” to different examples of Iranian one-way assault drones beforehand documented at Iranian airshows and utilized in conflicts in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
“US Consultants concluded, primarily based on the vertical fin being similar to these recognized on one of many Iranian designed and produced one-way assault ‘kamikaze’ UAV household, that Iran was actively concerned on this assault,” stated CENTCOM spokesman US Navy Capt. Invoice City.
UK and Israeli explosive consultants additionally had entry to the supplies reviewed by the US navy investigators, and concurred with their findings.
Earlier Friday, overseas ministers from the Group of Seven nations stated that each one accessible proof pointed to Iranian duty for the assault.
“All accessible proof clearly factors to Iran. There is no such thing as a justification for this assault,” stated the assertion, issued by present G7 chair, Britain. “Iran’s conduct, alongside its assist to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threatens worldwide peace and safety.”
“We name on Iran to cease all actions inconsistent with related UN Safety Council resolutions, and name on all events to play a constructive position in fostering regional stability and peace,” the G7 stated.