MUMBAI, India – The Indian Navy has dispatched three stealth-guided missile destroyers to the Arabian Sea following an attack on an Israel-linked chemical tanker off its coast. This move comes amid heightened tensions in the region and accusations of Iranian involvement.
The tanker, MV Chem Pluto, was struck on Saturday while sailing 200 nautical miles off India’s western coast. While initial assessments point to a drone attack, the exact nature of the weapon and perpetrator remain under investigation.
The US blames Iran for the attack, a claim Tehran vehemently denies. This marks the first time Washington has directly linked Iran to a maritime strike outside the Red Sea, where Yemeni Houthi rebels aligned with Iran have threatened vessels linked to Israel.
“We can see that militarisation is increasing, not only in the Red Sea, but also in the Arabian Peninsula,” said Al Jazeera’s Resul Sardar. “These are the regional ramifications of the war on Gaza,” he added.
The Indian Navy’s deployment aims to maintain a “deterrent presence” in the Arabian Sea and enhance “domain awareness” through long-range maritime patrol aircraft. This follows a spate of recent attacks on commercial vessels in the region, raising concerns about maritime security.
While MV Chem Pluto, carrying 21 Indian and one Vietnamese crew member, escaped the attack with no casualties, the incident underscores the precarious situation in the region. With global trade flowing through the Red Sea and growing tensions between Israel and Iran-backed allies, further escalation remains a possibility.
The Indian Navy’s investigation into the attack and its subsequent actions will be closely watched as the international community seeks to navigate the complex and volatile situation in the Arabian Sea.
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