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Business News/ News / India/  Houthi attacks on Red Sea vessels: MEA says ‘looking at unfolding situation very closely’

Houthi attacks on Red Sea vessels: MEA says ‘looking at unfolding situation very closely’

  • The MEA spokesperson's remarks came days after Liberian-flagged vessel MV Chem Pluto came under drone attack off India's west coast

People walk on the beach as a container ship crosses the Gulf of Suez towards the Red Sea before entering the Suez Canal.

As Houthi rebels step up their attacks against the commercial vessels in the Red Sea, the Union Ministry for External Affairs on Thursday said that India attaches high importance to the freedom of navigation and free movement of commercial shipping. The MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal affirmed that the Indian Navy is patrolling the area and the government is closely monitoring the unfolding situation.

"We attach very high importance to freedom of navigation, and free movement of commercial shipping. It is an evolving situation and we are looking at all aspects of it," Jaiswal said at a media briefing.

"As you know, we have Indian Navy ships patrolling the area. They are also keeping a watch on Indian ships there. So far, we are not part of any multilateral initiative in the area. We are looking at the unfolding situation very closely," he said.

The remarks came days after Liberian-flagged vessel MV Chem Pluto came under drone attack off India's west coast. The vessel had 21 Indian crew members, and the drone strike created panic among the security circles in New Delhi. One more commercial vessel bound for India came under a drone strike in the Red Sea on the same day.

Indian Navy responded to the emergency calls from the commercial vessel and carried out the rescue operations. The maritime forces have increased surveillance in the Indian Ocean region amid rising tensions among the countries in the Middle East.

Why Houthi rebels are attacking vessels in the Red Sea?

The Yemen-based Houthi rebels, who are politically aligned with Iran, launched several attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea after November 19. The members of the group claimed that the attacks are in solidarity with the people of Gaza, who are reeling under the airstrikes of Israel Defence Forces (IDF) amid the Israel-Hamas war.

The drone strikes against the commercial vessels are creating turbulence in the oil market and increasing the costs for shipping companies as they need to take a detour through the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the Red Sea, which adds 3,500 nautical miles to the journey.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Devesh Kumar

I cover politics, geo-politics, economy, and technology and have keen interest in understanding and analyzing the complex issues that shape our world. I am committed to delivering well-researched, balanced, and thought-provoking stories that provides insights into the key trends and developments.
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