A fire broke out on board the Liberian-flagged merchant ship CSAV Tyndall, once owned by Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime Company. Israel blames Iran.
At 7 pm on Saturday, 3 July, reports began circulating of an attack on a former Israeli merchant ship travelling from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates has come under attack in the Indian Ocean.
The first report from the Lebanese network Al-Mayadeen (close to Hezbollah) indicated that several containers on the deck of the ship were on fire following the attack with an unknown weapon.
CSAV Tyndall was previously owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer of Zodiac Maritime. The Lebanese broadcaster said the vessel dropped anchor in the port of Jeddah while heading to the coast of the United Arab Emirates. While transitting, the ship was hit, the report said, by a missile apparently fired from a warship or launcher off the coast. After the crew had stopped the ship and extinguished the fire, it continued on her way.
The crew was not hurt and the ship, possibly hit by a missile, was not badly damaged and continued on her way, Israel’s N12 Television said, citing unnamed sources within Israel’s defence establishment.
Saturday’s incident was the latest alleged attack in a region of sensitive waterways, where archenemies Iran and Israel have traded accusations of hits on each other’s vessels.
Israeli-owned vessels were attacked in the Gulf of Oman in February and April, with Israel blaming Iran for the explosions.
An Iranian cargo ship was meanwhile lightly damaged in an apparent mine attack in the Red Sea in April. The New York Times reported Israel had told the United States that it was behind the blast.
Iran’s largest navy ship also sank in early June after catching fire in the Gulf of Oman. Officials have not yet said if the sinking of the Kharg was an act of sabotage or an accident.
Middle – East: Maritime Conflict Spiral Under Great Tension.