Three killed as Iran fuel tanker attacked off Syria

Fire erupted after drone attack: SANA.

At least three people died when an Iranian tanker was attacked off Syria’s coast on Saturday, in the first assault of its kind since the war started a decade ago, a war monitor said.

“At least three Syrians were killed, including two members of the crew” in the attack that sparked a fire, said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

State news agency SANA, quoting the Oil Ministry, said the fire erupted after “what was believed to be an attack by a drone from the direction of Lebanese waters”. The flames were later extinguished.

It was not clear who carried out the attack, the war monitor said.

“We don’t know if this was an Israeli attack,” Mr. Abdel Rahman said, adding that “the Iranian tanker came from Iran and was not far from Banias port”.

It was also not clear if a drone or a missile was used in the attack, the Observatory said.

In a report published last month that cited U.S. and West Asian officials, the Wall Street Journal said Israel had targeted at least a dozen vessels bound for Syria and mostly carrying Iranian oil since late 2019.

Hundreds of Israeli air strikes have also struck Syria since the war began in 2011, mostly targeting Damascus regime allies from Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement and Syrian government troops.

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