A container ship owned by an Israeli billionaire came under attack in the Indian Ocean, The Associated Press quoted an American defense official as saying on Saturday.
The defense official, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the CMA CGM Symi, 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 added as he declined to explain why the US military “believed Iran was behind the attack.”
CMA CGM, a major shipper based in Marseille, France, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the vessel’s crew had been behaving as though they believed the ship faced a threat, AP added.
The ship had its Automatic Identification System tracker switched off since Tuesday when it left Dubai’s Jebel Ali port, according to data from MarineTraffic.com analyzed by the AP.
Ships are supposed to keep their AIS active for safety reasons, but crews will turn them off if it appears they might be targeted. It had done the same earlier when traveling through the Red Sea past Yemen.
The attack Friday on the CMA CGM Symi comes as global shipping increasingly finds itself targeted in operations by Yemeni revolutionaries in solidarity with Palestinian people and resistance in face of the brutal weekslong Israeli aggression on Gaza.
Earlier this week, Yemeni naval forces seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship in a crucial Red Sea shipping route and took its 25 crew members captive.