24 Dec 2023

Another tanker bound for India comes under drone attack fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels in Red Sea

A second tanker bound for India has come under drone attack. A crude oil tanker bound for India was hit by an attack drone fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, the US military said Sunday. The tanker has 25 Indian crew members on board. 

The Gabon-flagged tanker, M/V Saibaba, reported no injuries but issued a distress call to a nearby US ship. This incident followed an earlier attack off the Indian coast, which the US attributed to Iran.

The attack took place at approximately 10:30 pm (IST) Saturday. Prior to this incident, a tanker was targeted off the Indian coast, with the United States attributing the attack to Iran.

American naval vessel patrolling in Southern Red Sea received distress signals 

An American naval vessel patrolling in the Southern Red Sea received distress signals from two ships indicating that they were under attack. The first vessel, identified as the Norwegian-flagged chemical tanker M/V Blaamanen, reported a close encounter with a Houthi drone, according to the U.S. military.

The US military reported that the M/V SAIBABA, a second vessel, experienced an encounter with a one-way attack drone, resulting in no reported injuries. The USS Laboon promptly responded to distress calls arising from these incidents. 

It is noteworthy that the US destroyer had shot down four drones originating from Yemen's Houthi-controlled areas prior to the latest incidents.

Houthi rebels have consistently attacked ships in Red Sea

Iran is alleged to support the Houthi rebels, who were implicated in an earlier attack on MV Chem Pluto near the Indian coast. These rebels have consistently attacked ships in the Red Sea, asserting that their actions are aimed at Israeli-affiliated vessels in a show of solidarity with Gaza.

Saturday's incidents were the 14th and 15th attacks on commercial shipping by the Houthi rebels since October 17, the US military said.

Shipping attacks in the Red Sea have surged

Prior to the latest incident, the MV Chem Pluto, owned by Japan, was subjected to an attack yesterday, according to the Pentagon, which attributed the incident to a drone originating from Iran. However, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri asserted that the Houthi actions are based on their "independent decisions and capabilities."

Shipping attacks in the Red Sea have surged since the onset of the Israel-Hamas war in October. To mitigate the risk, major shipping companies have opted to redirect their cargo vessels around the southern tip of Africa, despite the increased fuel costs associated with longer voyages.

No comments:

Post a Comment