A chemical tanker struck by Iranian dronein the Indian Ocean early on Saturday, the Pentagon said.
Since the Israel-Gaza war began on October 7, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Iran, have been attacking a key trade route in the Red Sea with drones and missiles. They say they are doing this to show support for Gaza. After Hamas attacked Israel, this event shows how regional tensions are rising and how trade lanes are now at greater risk.
A chemical tanker on sailing on sea
Iran's drone was used to attack a chemical tanker in the Indian Ocean on Saturday, the Pentagon said. There was no longer a fire on the Chem Pluto. It did not hurt anyone.
Iran hasn't said anything. Recently, drones and rockets were used to attack ships in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels in Yemen. These rebels are backed by Iran and help Hamas in its war with Israel. Ambrey, a marine security company, says this is the first event of its kind so far away from that place. An official said in a statement on Saturday:
The motor vessel CHEM PLUTO, a Liberia-flagged, Japanese-owned, and Netherlands-operated chemical tanker was struck at approximately 10 a.m. local time (6 a.m. Greenwich Mean time) today in the Indian Ocean, 200 nautical miles from the coast of India, by a one-way attack drone fired from Iran.- Pentagon
CNNsays that a one-way attack drone is meant to hit its target and not go back to where it came from. A defense source said:
There were no casualties and a fire on board the tanker has been extinguished.- Pentagon
The statement said, “No US Navy vessels were in the vicinity,” It also said that Naval Forces Central Command was talking to the ship that was hit.
It said that the drone strike happened 370 kilometers (200 nautical miles) off the coast of India and that there were no US Navy ships nearby. The Pentagon said Iran was directly attacking ships for the first time since the start of Israel's war against Hamas, a militant group backed by Iran.
Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas on October 7, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Iran, have been attacking the important trade route in the Red Sea with drones and missiles. They say they are doing this to show support for Gaza.
The US military "remains in communication with the vessel as it continues toward a destination in India,"the statement said. The Pentagon said that the MV Chem Pluto ship flew a Liberian flag and was run by a Dutch business, even though it is owned by a Japanese company.
A chemical tanker owned by Japan was hit off the coast of India on Saturday. The Pentagon said the attack was caused by a drone "fired from Iran," which shows that the risks to commercial shipping are growing beyond the Red Sea.
Since the Israel-Gaza war began on October 7, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Iran, have been attacking a key trade route in the Red Sea with drones and missiles. They say they are doing this to show support for Gaza. It said that the attack on Saturday happened around 10 a.m. local time and that no one was hurt on board. The fire was also put out.