Just days after Russia agreed to help protect Iranian tankers delivering vital oil supplies to Syria (MEES, 23 April), a suspected drone attack was carried out on a tanker believed to be offloading Iranian crude at Syria’s port of Baniyas. The alleged attack was carried out on 24 April on the Panamanian-flagged Wisdom dirty products tanker which data intelligence firm Kpler believes was holding around 300,000 barrels of Iranian oil, just shy of its full capacity.

A successful attack at Baniyas would be highly embarrassing for all parties involved, especially coming shortly after Iran and Russia had agreed to form an “operations room” to enable Russian navy assets to escort Iranian crude tankers to Syrian territorial waters in fear of Israeli attacks. If it was indeed a drone attack, Israel would be the clear suspect. (CONTINUED - 169 WORDS)