US doesn’t know who is behind the attack on the oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman

WASHINGTON – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s initial claims that Iran was responsible for the attack on the Japanese oil tanker Mercer Street in the Gulf of Oman have not yet been confirmed by the Pentagon.

For the past 12 hours, rhetoric with vague and unconfirmed allegations has been heard in the Pentagon and political circles in Washington. In a conversation with Senator Todd Young, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Dana Stroul said that it is possible that the Yemeni Hutus, who used Iranian-made drones, were behind the attack.

“It’s been reported that the recent attack on the Mercer Street tanker in the Gulf of Oman originated from Yemen with Iranian-produced drones. Can you confirm those public reports?” Todd Young asked, and Stroul replied, “Yes, I can confirm the reports.”

Later, Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby had to clarify Stroul’s statement and refute her words to some extent. Asked at the daily briefing at the Pentagon if he could confirm Stroll’s allegations, he replied“no, I cannot confirm that.”

Later on his official Twitter account, John F. Kirby even denied Stroul’s words, saying that she did not confirm the claim that the Yemeni Hutus were responsible for the attack on the tanker.

Before two weeks ago, the Japanese tanker Mercer Street, sailing unloaded from Dar es Salaam to Fujairah, was attacked in the northern Indian Ocean. As a result, two crew members died – a British citizen and a Romanian citizen.

On August 1, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Iran was responsible for the attack on the tanker. The USA and Great Britain took the same position.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Ministry warned against attempts to damage the country’s sovereignty. Ministry spokesman Said Khatibzadeh also stated that Iran “deeply regrets the groundless accusations made by the British Foreign Minister against the Islamic Republic of Iran, repeated by the US Secretary of State in the same context and containing contradictory, false and provocative claims.”

On August 6, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz discussed the incident with the tanker in the Gulf of Oman and reaffirmed their concern for stability in the region, condemning the Iranian attack on the tanker. Today, it may turn out that Iran is not involved, which raises the question: how reliable is the information of Israeli intelligence specifically about this incident?

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