Virginia, December 24: The Pentagon said that it was an Iranian drone that hit a chemical tanker near India's coast on Saturday, reported Reuters. The drone attack incident took place 200 nautical miles South West of Veraval in India.
A Pentagon spokesperson was quoted by Reuters saying that the motor vessel CHEM PLUTO which is a Japanese-owned and Netherlands-operated chemical tanker was struck in the Indian Ocean by a "one-way attack drone fired from Iran."
Merchant vessel MV Chem Pluto
A merchant vessel, MV Chem Pluto, with around 20 Indian crew, was hit by a drone about 217 nautical miles off the Porbandar coast in the Arabian Sea on Saturday (December 23).
There was no report of any casualties in the incident, according to the Indian military sources and a maritime security agency, reported PTI.
The attack on the vessel comes amid Iran-backed Houthi rebels stepping up attacks on ships in the Red Sea amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Vessel on its way to Mumbai
The vessel had started making way towards Mumbai after undertaking damage assessment and repairs on its power generation systems, said the Indian Coast Guard.
The vessel is likely to enter Mumbai and sought escort assistance due to steering issues. Indian Coast Guard Ship Vikram will be escorting the ship during its passage. The Indian Coast Guard Operations Centre is monitoring the situation closely," the Indian Coast Guard said in a late night statement on Saturday, December 23.
Earlier, a frontline warship was dispatched by the Indian Navy to help the merchant ship.