India-Bound Oil Tanker Hit By Attack Drone In Red Sea

A crude oil tanker bound for Indiawas hit by an attack drone fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, the US military said today.

India-Bound Oil Tanker Hit By Attack Drone In Red Sea

A crude oil tanker bound for India was hit by an attack drone fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, the US military said today. M/V Saibaba, a Gabon-flagged tanker with Indians on board, reported no injuries but sent out a distress call to a US ship in the area, the US Central Command said on X, formerly Twitter.

The attack occurred around 10:30 pm (IST) yesterday, hours after another tanker came under attack off the Indian coast, which the US blamed on Iran.

Two ships had informed an US naval ship patrolling in the Southern Red Sea that they were under attack. One of them, a Norwegian-flagged and owned chemical tanker named M/V Blaamanen reported a near miss of a Houthi drone, the US military said.

A second vessel, the M/V SAIBABA, reported that it was hit by a one-way attack drone with no injuries reported, the US military said, adding that the USS Laboon responded to the distress calls from these attacks.

The US destroyer had shot down four drones originating from Yemen's Houthi-controlled areas prior to the latest incidents.

The Houthi rebels are backed by Iran, which has been accused in yesterday's attack on MV Chem Pluto off the Indian coast. They have repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea, claiming that they are targeting Israeli-linked vessels in solidarity with Gaza.

Saturday's incidents were the 14th and 15th attacks on commercial shipping by the Houthi rebels since October 17, the US military said.

The Japanese-owned MV Chem Pluto, which came under attack yesterday, was targeted by a drone "fired from Iran", the Pentagon has said. But Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri said the Houthi act on their "own decisions and capabilities."

There has been a rise in shipping attacks in the Red Sea since the Israel-Hamas war began in October. Major shipping firms have rerouted their cargo vessels around the southern tip of Africa, despite higher fuel costs for longer voyages.