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US Military reports claims that Tanker hit off India coast by drone from Iran

US Military reports claims that Tanker hit off India coast by drone from Iran

US Military reports claims that Tanker hit off India coast by drone from Iran

US Military reports claims that Tanker hit off India coast by drone from Iran

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  • A US military claims a drone launched from Iran hit a chemical tanker off the coast of India.
  • The incident occurred 200 nautical miles southwest of Veraval in India’s Gujarat state.
  • The UK government has halted operations in the Red Sea due to the heightened risk of attacks.
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A chemical tanker in the Indian Ocean was hit by a drone launched from Iran on Saturday. The drone reportedly launched from Iran has struck a tanker off the coast of India, as per US claims. Although Iran has not officially responded. The maritime security firm Ambrey notes that such incidents are usually closer to the Red Sea.

The targeted vessel, the Chem Pluto, was en route from Saudi Arabia to India and has connections to Israel. Houthi rebels in Yemen, supported by Iran, have previously used drones and rockets in the Red Sea.

This marks the first public accusation by the US of Iran directly targeting a ship. While Iran denies involvement in Red Sea attacks, the Revolutionary Guards warn of potential waterway closures if alleged crimes persist in Gaza by the US and its allies.

The Pentagon statement said the Chem Pluto, “a Liberia-flagged, Japanese-owned, and Netherlands-operated chemical tanker”, was struck on Saturday at 10:00 local time (06:00 GMT). The hit caused structural damage.

The incident took place 200 nautical miles (370km) southwest of the city of Veraval in India’s Gujarat state, according to United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

Ambrey said the event fell within an area considered a “heightened threat area” for Iranian drones.

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However, the news details that the Indian navy promptly dispatched aircraft and warships to assist could not be independently confirmed by BBC.

US Central Command:

In a separate development, the US Central Command (Centcom) said that on Saturday “two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles were fired into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. No ships reported being impacted”.

It also said the USS Laboon warship patrolling the area “shot down four unmanned aerial drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen that were inbound” to the American vessel. On the same day, a crude oil tanker reported being struck by a Houthi drone in the southern Red Sea.

In response to the heightened risk of attacks, several international shipping organizations have halted their operations in the Red Sea. The UK government has expressed its determination to safeguard the safety of this route.

According to Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, the UK is dedicated to preventing attacks on vessels. They ensure that the Red Sea does not become an area deemed too dangerous for navigation.

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Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary David Cameron described Iran as a “thoroughly malign influence in the region and in the world”.

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