Israel probes possible missile attack on cargo ship: Reports

Israeli media say the cargo ship was previously owned by an Israeli tycoon and came under attack while on its way to the UAE.

The CSAV Tyndall ship enters Le Havre harbour, northern France, on May 9, 2019 [File: Jean-Francois Monier/AFP]

A Liberian-flagged cargo ship travelling from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates has come under attack in the Indian Ocean, according to Israeli and Lebanese media.

The crew was not hurt and the ship, possibly hit by a missile on Saturday, was not badly damaged and continued on its journey, Israel’s N12 Television said, citing unnamed sources within Israel’s defence establishment.

The defence officials said they were checking if Iranian forces were behind the alleged attack, according to N12.

Lebanese pro-Iranian TV channel Al Mayadeen had reported the incident earlier. The channel said the ship was attacked with an unknown weapon.

Israeli media identified the container ship as the CSAV Tyndall and initially said it was owned by Zodiac Maritime Ltd, a London-based international ship management company owned by Israeli tycoon Eyal Ofer. The company, however, issued a statement saying it no longer operated or owned the CSAV Tyndall.

Ship-tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon showed the ship was last docked in Jeddah and was now off the coast of Dubai.

A UAE government spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

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.

That same month, Iran reported an attack on its Natanz uranium enrichment plan, for which it blamed Israel.

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.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies