British private intelligence firm Ambrey reported that an oil tanker was hit by a drone 200 kilometers off the west coast of India. It is not known who was responsible for the attack or where the drone took off from.
In recent weeks, there have been attacks, mostly from Yemen, on commercial ships in the Red Sea. Therefore, a number of major shipping companies decided to stop using this crucial route for ships from Asia to Europe. Their ships sail around.
The stricken tanker MV Chem Pluto sustained minor damage. A fire broke out and was quickly extinguished. None of the 20 Indian crew members were injured. The Indian Navy will provide assistance. The ship was on its way to the coastal city of Mangalore, India, loaded with oil from Saudi Arabia.
The Houthi rebels have consistently said they want to target ships carrying goods destined for Israel or owned by Israeli owners. But according to Ambry, cargo ships that do not fall into this category are often accidentally struck.
The MV Chem Pluto was likely hit by a drone produced in Iran. The West Coast is within the range of these drones.
Peter van Amelrooy
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