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An Israeli-owned ship was targeted in suspected Iranian attack in Indian Ocean, US official tells AP

by Michael Nguyen
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A U.S. defense official, speaking with AP, reported that a container ship owned by an Israeli businessman was the target of a suspected Iranian drone attack in the Indian Ocean. This incident occurred amid Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

On Friday, the CMA CGM Symi, sailing under the Maltese flag, was reportedly hit by a Shahed-136 drone, shaped like a triangle and carrying explosives. The attack took place in international waters, causing damage to the ship but no injuries to the crew. The U.S. is closely observing the situation but did not specify why Iran is believed to be responsible.

As part of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, a ceasefire is in place, allowing for the exchange of hostages and Palestinian prisoners, along with the delivery of critical supplies. The ceasefire has seen Palestinian families celebrating the release of minors and women, and Hamas has released 10 Thai hostages, four of whom were previously unlisted as abducted.

Al-Mayadeen, a pan-Arab satellite channel aligned with Hezbollah, initially reported the attack on the Israeli vessel in the Indian Ocean. The report, based on anonymous sources, was later referenced by Iranian media.

CMA CGM, headquartered in Marseille, France, has yet to comment on the incident. However, the ship’s crew had deactivated its Automatic Identification System tracker since leaving Dubai’s Jebel Ali port, a move typically made when a threat is perceived. This practice was also observed earlier when the ship navigated past Yemen, where Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are active.

The vessel is linked to Eastern Pacific Shipping, owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer. Attempts to contact Eastern Pacific Shipping in Singapore and the Israeli military for comments were unsuccessful.

In a similar incident in November 2022, the Liberian-flagged tanker Pacific Zircon, also connected to Eastern Pacific, was damaged in a suspected Iranian attack off Oman.

Iran and Israel have been engaged in a covert conflict across the Middle East, with several drone attacks targeting Israeli-linked ships. During the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Houthis captured a vehicle transport ship in the Red Sea, and Iranian-backed militias in Iraq have targeted American troops, although Iran has not been directly linked to these attacks.

Isabel DeBre, a correspondent for Big Big News in Jerusalem, contributed to this report.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Iranian drone attack

What was the target of the suspected Iranian drone attack in the Indian Ocean?

A container ship owned by an Israeli billionaire was the target of a suspected Iranian drone attack in the Indian Ocean.

Who reported the attack on the Israeli-owned ship?

The attack on the Israeli-owned ship was reported by a U.S. defense official who spoke to the AP.

Which ship was targeted in the suspected Iranian attack?

The ship targeted in the suspected Iranian attack was the CMA CGM Symi, sailing under the Maltese flag.

What were the consequences of the drone attack on the ship?

The drone attack caused damage to the CMA CGM Symi but did not result in any injuries to its crew.

Has CMA CGM commented on the attack?

As of the report, CMA CGM had not responded to requests for comment regarding the attack.

What is the significance of the ship turning off its AIS tracker?

Turning off the Automatic Identification System (AIS) tracker suggests that the ship’s crew perceived a threat, as ships typically keep AIS active for safety.

Who owns the ship that was attacked?

The Symi is owned by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, which is ultimately controlled by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.

Has there been a similar incident involving ships connected to Eastern Pacific Shipping?

Yes, in November 2022, the Liberian-flagged tanker Pacific Zircon, also associated with Eastern Pacific, sustained damage in a suspected Iranian attack off Oman.

How does this incident fit into the larger Israel-Hamas conflict?

This incident is part of a series of events in the ongoing shadow war between Iran and Israel, which has intensified during the Israel-Hamas conflict.

More about Iranian drone attack

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5 comments

DavidK November 25, 2023 - 9:10 am

wow, this is really serious stuff. The tensions in the region are just escalating, aren’t they? What’s next in this shadow war?

Reply
SarahT November 25, 2023 - 9:52 am

It’s all just political games to them, but real people are at risk. What about the crew’s safety? These attacks are not just statistics!

Reply
Mark_the_Mariner November 25, 2023 - 5:46 pm

This is why international waters are getting more dangerous. It’s not just about piracy anymore. Countries are playing dangerous games out there.

Reply
HistoryBuff193 November 26, 2023 - 2:43 am

Reminds me of the old cold war days. Just with drones and ships now. Iran and Israel have been at it for years, and it seems like it’s only getting worse.

Reply
Jenny_S November 26, 2023 - 3:13 am

can’t believe the ship’s crew had to turn off the AIS… must’ve been really scared of being targeted. Safety should be a top priority.

Reply

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