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Israeli ship under drone attack in Indian Ocean, US Suspects Iran

by tbhad

AP, Dubai, UAE

A container ship owned by an Israeli billionaire came under attack by a suspected Iranian drone in the Indian Ocean as Israel wages war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, an American defense official said Saturday.

The attack Friday on the CMA CGM Symi comes as global shipping increasingly finds itself targeted in the weekslong war that threatens to become a wider regional conflict — even as a truce has halted fighting and Hamas exchanges hostages for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

The defense official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the Malta-flagged vessel was suspected to have been targeted by a triangle-shaped, bomb-carrying Shahed-136 drone while in international waters. The drone exploded, causing damage to the ship but not injuring any of its crew.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely,” the official said. The official declined to elaborate on what intelligence the U.S. military gathered to assess that Iran was behind the attack, though authorities suspect Tehran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard carried out the assault.

The same drones have been used by Russia in its war on Ukraine, as recently as in a barrage launched Saturday that Kyiv described as Moscow’s biggest drone attack since the war began.

Al-Mayadeen, a pan-Arab satellite channel that is politically allied with the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, reported that an Israeli ship had been targeted in the Indian Ocean. The channel cited anonymous sources for the report, which Iranian media later cited.

CMA CGM, a major shipper based in Marseille, France, referred questions to the Symi’s owner, Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping. That company is ultimately controlled by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.

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