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Navy denies US claim, says MV SAIBABA tank not India-flagged; adds all 25 Indian crew members safe

Unmanned aerial drones attacked two vessels in Southern Pink Sea. X/@CENTCOM

Following an assault by Iran-backed Houthi militants on two vessels within the Pink Sea, together with the crude oil tanker MV SAIBABA, the Indian Navy stated on Sunday that each one 25 Indian crew members on board are secure, clarifying that the vessel was not an India-flagged vessel, as claimed by the US earlier, however one flying the Gabonese flag.

In an earlier assertion, the US Central Command acknowledged that one of many two warships focused by the Houthis was flagged in India.

Based on CENTCOM, that is the 14th and fifteenth strike on industrial vessels by Houthi terrorists since October 17.

“On December 23 two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles were fired into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea from Houthi-controlled areas of Houthi militants. No ships reported being impacted by the ballistic missiles,” US Central Command posted on X.

On the similar time, between 3 and eight pm (Sanaa time), the USS LABOON (DDG 58) was patrolling the Southern Pink Sea as a part of Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG).

The USS LABOON efficiently intercepted and “shot down unmanned aerial drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen that were inbound to the USS LABOON. There were no injuries or damage in this incident”, CENTCOM added in its publish.

Later, at roughly 8 pm (Sanaa time), US Naval Forces Central Command acquired misery experiences from two ships within the Southern Pink Sea indicating that they have been beneath assault.

“The M/V BLAAMANEN, a Norwegian-flagged, owned, and operated chemical/oil tanker, reported a near miss of a Houthi one-way attack drone with no injuries or damage reported. A second vessel, the M/V SAIBABA, a Gabon-owned, Indian-flagged crude oil tanker, reported that it was hit by a one-way attack drone with no injuries reported. The USS LABOON (DDG 58) responded to the distress calls from these attacks,” the US CENTCOM claimed in its publish earlier.

The US Central Command underscored the gravity of the scenario, emphasising that these assaults pose a menace to the protection and safety of worldwide maritime visitors.

“These attacks represent the 14th and 15th attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi militants since October 17,” the publish added.

For the reason that Israel-Hamas warfare broke out on October 7, the Iranian-backed Houthis, together with different militia teams throughout the Center East, have focused US positions and belongings.

Houthi forces in Yemen have been concentrating on industrial ships within the Pink Sea, claiming the assaults as revenge towards Israel, together with seizing a ship final month in a raid.

India, a robust advocate for the free motion of business delivery, is monitoring these assaults.

Addressing a weekly presser final Thursday, Ministry of Exterior Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated, “India has always been supportive of the free movement of commercial shipping so, that is something that we are interested in. We are, of course, monitoring the developments there.”

Bagchi famous that India can also be a part of worldwide efforts to make sure free delivery.

“We are also part of international efforts to ensure free shipping, whether it be piracy or otherwise, India has been involved in it. So we will continue to monitor that,” he added.

Additional highlighting Operation Prosperity Guardian by the US, the MEA spokesperson stated that India has been a part of efforts to make sure the secure transit of ships within the Arabian Sea.

“There was some communication regarding this task force operation…We have been part of efforts to ensure the safe transit of ships in the Arabian Sea and we value the free movement of commercial shipping,” he added.

The US and different naval forces function within the Pink Sea area to defend industrial delivery, however the brand new activity drive is anticipated to ramp up safety.

Just lately, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a phone dialog together with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, with the 2 leaders sharing considerations over the protection of maritime visitors.

PM Modi reiterated the necessity for continued humanitarian support for the affected folks.

He additional burdened an early and peaceable decision of the battle, together with the discharge of all hostages, by way of dialogue and diplomacy.

In a publish on X, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Workplace acknowledged, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today with Indian Prime Minister @NarendraModi. The two leaders discussed the importance of securing freedom of navigation in the Bab-el-Mandeb, which is threatened by the aggression of the Houthis, instigated by Iran.”



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