USA publishes essential reading on tanker attack | Rigzone



The United States Central Command has released what maritime risk intelligence firm Dryad Global called “essential reading” in the wake of the Mercer Street tanker attack.

In a statement posted on its website, Central Command noted that a team of expert explosives investigators from the USS Ronald Reagan had boarded the ship to examine the evidence and interview the surviving crew members. The team reportedly discovered several elements, including unsuccessful attack attempts and the crew’s responses.

“M / T Mercer Street was the target of two unsuccessful explosive UAV attacks on the evening of July 29,” Central Command noted. “The crew reported the attacks via distress calls on the evening of July 29. Based on interviews with the crew, the investigation team found the reports of the attacks, which affected the sea near, credible. M / T Mercer Street, ”added the central command.

“Investigators found small remains of at least one of the drones on Mercer Street that the crew had recovered from the water, corroborating the reports,” the organization continued.

Central Command said the investigative team determined that the extensive damage to Mercer Street was the result of a third UAV attack on July 30.

“This drone was loaded with a military grade explosive and caused the death of two crew members; the captain of the ship, a Romanian citizen and a UK national who was part of the security service, ”the central command said.

“The explosive detonation that followed the impact of the UAV created a hole approximately six feet in diameter in the upper part of the wheelhouse and severely damaged the interior. The explosive chemical tests were indicative of a nitrate-based explosive and identified as RDX, indicating that the UAV had been rigged to cause injury and destruction, ”the organization said.

In the statement, the central command noted that explosives experts were able to recover several parts of the third drone, including a vertical stabilizer and internal components, which it said were almost identical to previously collected examples of UAVs from Iranian unidirectional attack.

“The distance between the Iranian coast and the scene of the attacks was within the range of documented Iranian one-way attack drones,” the central command said. “US experts have concluded on the basis of the evidence that this drone was produced in Iran,” the organization added.

Iran has denied responsibility for the strike, Bloomberg recently reported.

The tanker attack been condemned by the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union.

NATO also “strongly” condemned the attack on the Mercer Street ship and expressed its condolences to Romania and the UK. “Freedom of navigation is vital for all NATO allies and must be respected in accordance with international law,” NATO said in a statement posted on its website.

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