Israel-affiliated merchant vessel hit by drone attack off India’s coast

Drone Attack In Indian Ocean: The “Liberia-flagged chemical/products tanker… was Israel-affiliated”, it said.

Drone Attack In Indian Ocean: There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the strike.(Representational)

A drone strike damaged a merchant ship in the Indian Ocean but caused no casualties, two maritime agencies said as per news agency AFP. One vessel was linked to Israel.

What maritime agencies said on the attack

British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations and maritime security firm Ambrey said that a merchant vessel was stuck by unmanned aerial vehicle off India’s Verval.

The “Liberia-flagged chemical/products tanker… was Israel-affiliated”, it said, adding, “Some structural damage was also reported and some water was taken onboard. The vessel was Israel-affiliated. She had last called Saudi Arabia and was destined for India at the time.”

Who is responsible for the attack

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the strike. Last month, an Israeli-owned cargo ship was hit in a suspected drone attack by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Indian Ocean, a US official said. The vessel which was managed by an Israeli-affiliated company was reportedly damaged when the unmanned aerial vehicle exploded close to it.

What about the drone attacks in Red Sea

Drone and missile attacks in the Red Sea by Iran-backed Houthis have also increased following the Israel-Hamas war. Houthis have said that they support Hamas owing to which they will continue to target commercial shipping linked to Israel. This has forced shippers to change course and take longer routes around the southern tip of Africa, Reuters reported.

The White House said Iran was “deeply involved” in planning operations against commercial vessels in the Red Sea as Houthis have have launched more than 100 drone and missile attacks, targeting 10 merchant vessels involving more than 35 different countries, as per the Pentagon.

Iran’s threat in Mediterranean Sea

An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said the Mediterranean Sea could be closed if the United States and its allies continued to commit “crimes” in Gaza. “They shall soon await the closure of the Mediterranean Sea, (the Strait of) Gibraltar and other waterways,” brigadier general Mohammad Reza Naqdi said as per Reuters.

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