Ocean Clash: Iranian Drone Hits Chemical Tanker

24.12.2023 posted by Admin

Iranian Drone Strikes Chemical Tanker in Indian Ocean

In the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean, a chemical tanker faced an unsettling encounter with an Iranian attack drone this Saturday, marking the seventh such incident targeting commercial vessels since 2021, as revealed by a statement from a US Department of Defense official.

The unfortunate victim of this one-sided assault was the motor vessel CHEM PLUTO, a chemical tanker sporting the Liberian flag, owned by Japan, and operated by the Netherlands. The incident occurred at around 10 a.m. local time, 200 nautical miles off the coast of India, and was executed by a single-use attack drone dispatched from Iran.

Emphasizing the unique nature of this drone, designed for a one-way mission with the purpose of striking its target without a return journey, the defense official assured that there were no casualties. Swift action on board extinguished the resulting fire, and remarkably, no US Navy vessels were present nearby during the attack, according to the statement. Naval Forces Central Command initiated communication with the affected tanker.

At the time of the assault, the CHEM PLUTO housed 20 Indian crew members and one Vietnamese individual, as reported by India's coast guard. Remarkably, no casualties were reported, and in response to the incident, the coast guard dispatched a patrol vessel and maritime surveillance aircraft.

Post-incident, a diligent assessment of damage and repairs to the power generation systems was conducted on MV Chem Pluto. Subsequently, under the escort of the patrol vessel, the tanker resumed its journey towards Mumbai, following its departure from Saudi Arabia on December 19, with an expected arrival in Mangalore, India, on December 25.

This alarming strike in the Indian Ocean adds to a series of incidents in the region, coinciding with Houthi rebels in Yemen launching over 100 attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea in the past month. The US Central Command reported additional occurrences, including a crude oil tanker hit by a one-way attack drone with no injuries, and a chemical tanker narrowly avoiding a similar drone in the southern Red Sea.

As tensions escalate, the US released declassified intelligence on Friday, indicating Iran's significant involvement in planning operations against vessels in the Red Sea. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson asserted that Iranian support in the Gaza crisis empowered the Houthi rebels to target Israel and maritime interests, albeit often with autonomous decision-making by the rebels.

In response, the US initiated Operation Prosperity Guardian, a maritime coalition involving over 20 nations, aimed at bolstering security in the southern Red Sea. This proactive measure underscores the gravity of the situation and the international community's commitment to safeguarding maritime interests in the face of escalating threats.
Comments are temporarily unavailable

Your comment