Ramzy Baroud, an internationally syndicated columnist and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday while commenting on the Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned ship Mercer Street that recently came under attack northeast of the Omani port of Duqm.
“Most of the information available regarding this incident comes from Israeli and American sources; the confirmation that drones have been used to attack the ship came specifically from the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet,” Baroud said.
“Since no independent and trustworthy sources have confirmed – or denied – the sequence of events that led to the attack on the Mercer Street, we cannot discuss the event with total trust and reliance on Israeli and US sources,” he added.
The journalist said that the possible use of drones in the attack against the tanker vessel was indicative of “advanced surveillance and intelligence.”
Baroud underlined that regardless of the possibility of an Israeli response, it seems that the “rules of the game have indeed changed and not in favor of Israel.”
‘The attack was a game changer’
Informed sources have said the attack on the tanker was in response to an Israeli missile attack on Syria and that the resistance front was serious in its resolve to stop the occupying regime’s crimes in the region.
The Palestinian-American journalist described the move as a “game-changer” as the attack shattered Israel’s fantasy of gaining a regional geostrategic position.
“This is a game changer. Since Israel began its normalization with Arab countries in that region, the understanding was that Israel has gained a geostrategic position vis-a-vis its attempt at isolating and targeting Iran,” Baroud said. “Indeed, the Israeli regime and media were buying into this fantasy that the rules of the game have changed in favor of Israel.”
Baroud went on to say that if the resistance front proves to be responsible for the attack on the Mercer Street, it means that it is willing to take serious measures to remind Israel that it must not be comfortable with the supposed status quo and that the outcome of the geostrategic conflict is yet to be determined.
Baroud said the attack was a warning to Tel Aviv that it would be held accountable for its aggression against resisting forces in the region, and that “Israel’s enemies have the resources and the technology that can expose Israel’s vulnerability in the region.”
The Mercer Street came under attack about 152 nautical miles (280 km) northeast of the Omani port of Duqm on Thursday, according to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which provides maritime security information.
In a statement on Friday, Zodiac Maritime, the Israeli-owned firm managing the oil tanker, claimed that two crewmen, a Briton and a Romanian, had been killed in the assault.
In recent months, several other Israeli ships have come under attack on various maritime routes across the world.
Earlier this month, a fire broke out on an Israeli-owned cargo ship after it was struck by an “unidentified weapon” in the northern Indian Ocean. Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network said at the time that the Israeli vessel had been en route to the coast of the UAE when it was attacked.
The attacks come against a backdrop of the Israeli regime’s various assaults on cargo ships across the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere.