The Indian Navy's Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) has sounded alarm about the increasing danger of drone attacks in the Red Sea and Northern Arabian Sea.
In its November 2023 report as reported by Wion, the centre highlighted five drone attacks in the first 11 months of the year, terming it a "growing cause of concern for commercial shipping and global trade" in the Indian Ocean Region.
The report points out that Houthi rebels from Yemen are targeting vessels suspected of travelling to or from Israel, responding to Israeli actions in Gaza.
Major shipping companies have rerouted vessels to avoid the volatile region due to the rising threat.
Enumerating the serious risks, the report includes potential loss of life, cargo, vessel sinking, marine environment pollution, trade blockades near choke points, and an increase in insurance rates affecting the global economy.
Incidents listed in the report encompass a drone assault on the Liberian-flagged oil tanker CAMPO SQUARE, a rotary unmanned aerial vehicle approaching a vessel off Salalah, Oman, and recent attacks in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea.
The IFC-IOR has actively assisted vessels attacked by drones, coordinating responses through international links and national agencies.
Seafarers are advised to maintain vigilant monitoring for potential air threats, increase speed, avoid vulnerability, and report incidents to maritime security centers.
This development follows recent attacks on India-bound vessels, MV Chem Pluto and MV Sai Baba, prompting India to deploy warships, including INS Kochi and INS Kolkata, in the region.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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