Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed Iran for a drone attack on a Zodiac Maritime product tanker.

The 109,900-dwt Campo Square (built 2018) was “hit by an airborne object” on 10 February in the Arabian Sea but suffered only minor damage, according to ship manager Eletson.

“Last week Iran again attacked an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf and harmed the international freedom of navigation,” Reuters quoted Netanyahu as saying at a weekly cabinet meeting.

The Campo Square was on a ballast leg 300 nautical miles (555 km) off the coasts of Oman and India, according to Eletson.

“We can confirm that both the vessel and crew are safe and proceeding as per planned passage,” it said.

“We have made the necessary notifications to the relevant authorities.”

Shipping data shows that the Campo Square is currently sailing on ballast in the Red Sea.

Another ship of UK company Zodiac Maritime, controlled by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer, has previously been attacked in the area.

A drone hit the 49,995-dwt MR tanker Mercer Street (built 2013) in July 2021 off the coast of Oman, killing a security guard and the captain. The US said last week that the type of drone used in that attack is now being deployed in the war in Ukraine.

The US also attributed a November 2022 attack on the 50,000-dwt Pacific Zircon (built 2013) to an Iranian-made drone. The product tanker, owned by Israeli businessman Idan Ofer’s Eastern Pacific Shipping, suffered minor damage.

Two other ships targeted

Maritime security company Ambrey said three Israeli-affiliated merchant vessels have been attacked by unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the Arabian Sea in the past few weeks. In addition to the Campo Square, another tanker and a bulker were targeted.

Ambrey understands two of the vessels were Israeli-owned. Another, formerly Israeli-owned, was purchased by a United Arab Emirates company in 2021.

All were outside the Joint War Committee listed area at the time.

“All the incidents were within Ambrey’s Iranian UAS threat areas. These areas are based on known effective weapons ranges from Iranian military sites,” Ambrey said.

The incidents followed days after an attack on an Iranian weapons manufacturing facility in Isfahan, which Iran publicly blamed on Israel.

All vessels targeted were able to continue their voyages.

“These incidents underlined the threat to Israeli merchant shipping in the region and those formerly affiliated with Israel,” said Ambrey.