The fact that the ship’s tracker was apparently off indicates that the crew members probably anticipated a threat in the area.
An Israeli businessman’s cargo ship was struck by what seems to have been a drone strike in the Indian Ocean, a US defense official said.
The Associated Press news agency was informed on Saturday by an unidentified US defense official that the strike on Friday was most likely conducted with an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone. An Israeli ship was targeted in the Indian Ocean, according to a report from Al Mayadeen, a pan-Arab satellite program.
In international seas, the drone attacked the French-operated, Malta-flagged CMA CGM Symi freighter. After the drone burst, the ship apparently sustained damage, but no crew members were hurt.
The US official stated, “We continue to monitor the situation closely,” without offering any proof that Iran was involved in the attack. Iran has remained silent on the reports.
The ship’s tracking broadcasts had halted soon after it left port in the United Arab Emirates, according to maritime security firm Ambrey, which reported this in the days leading up to the attack.
Ambrey stated, “It was determined that the vessel’s management by an Israeli-affiliated company was the reason it was targeted.”
The crew of the ship had turned off its monitoring system since Tuesday, when it departed the Jebel Ali port in Dubai, and they had been acting as though they thought there may be a danger, according to the AP. When the ship had passed Yemen earlier in the Red Sea, it had done the same.
Since Israel began war on Gaza last month in response to a Hamas onslaught that left more than 1,200 people dead, the Houthis, who are affiliated with Iran, have launched multiple rounds of missile and drone strikes on southern Israel, according to Israeli officials. According to Palestinian sources, the Israeli bombing has killed around 15,000 Palestinians so far, including over 6,150 children.
The Houthis also seized possession of a ship earlier this week that they said was Israeli off the coast of Yemen’s Red Sea. However, Israel claimed that it was a cargo ship, owned by the British and handled by the Japanese, carrying no Israeli people.
For years, Israel and Iran have been fighting a covert war that has included allegations of Iranian involvement in assaults against Israeli-owned ships in the past. Officially, Tehran has denied planning similar strikes in the past.
If the attack on the Symi vessel occurred late on Thursday, it would indicate that it took place shortly before Israel and Hamas declared a truce. The UN said that Israel had increased its assaults on Gaza in the hours before the ceasefire.
Numerous Palestinian women and children who were detained in Israel were exchanged for the release on Friday of Israelis and a few other citizens who were taken hostage in Gaza. Up until Monday, when the four-day truce ends, further exchanges are anticipated; it may be prolonged.