Israeli ship hit by Iranian drone, US suspects
In the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean, a container ship managed by an Israeli-controlled company, the Malta-flagged CMA CGM SYMI (recently renamed Mayet), faced a suspected drone attack on Friday. According to a U.S. defense official speaking on condition of anonymity, the assailant drone is believed to be an Iranian Shahed-136. Despite the strike, the damage inflicted on the vessel was minor, and fortunately. No injuries were reported among the crew.
The Israeli-affiliated container ship was reportedly targeted while sailing in international waters. While, heightening concerns over maritime security. The incident occurs against the backdrop of increased tensions due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Earlier in the week, Yemen’s Houthis, a group aligned with Iran, seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship in the southern Red Sea, an action promptly labeled as an “Iranian act of terrorism” by Israel.
The ship in question, Mayet, is managed by Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), a company controlled by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer. EPS confirmed awareness of the security incident, stating that the vessel continues to sail as planned, and all crew members are safe and well. This is not the first time EPS-controlled ships have encountered such attacks, adding a layer of complexity to the maritime security landscape.
Notably, the Shahed-136 drone allegedly used in the attack is the same type Iran has supplied to Russia for use in Ukraine. These “kamikaze” drones carry a small warhead that explodes upon impact, showcasing the evolving nature of asymmetrical threats in the region.
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The international community is closely monitoring the situation, with the United States attributing unclaimed attacks on vessels in the region to Iran in the past. However, Tehran consistently denies involvement in such incidents. As the geopolitical chessboard continues to unfold, the incident underscores the fragile nature of maritime security and the intricate web of tensions in the Middle East. The lack of immediate comments from Iranian and Israeli officials adds to the complexity and uncertainty surrounding the situation.