New Delhi, Dec 26 (EFE).- Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that the Asian country was determined to counter naval threats after ordering the deployment of several destroyers in the Arabian Sea, which came days after a merchant ship was allegedly attacked by Iran.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of a military vessel, Singh said, for a long time, India only paid attention to land threats on borders with Pakistan and China, neglecting maritime challenges.
“Today, the Navy is getting equal attention as the rest of the armed forces of India,” he said.
On Monday, the Defense Ministry announced the deployment of several destroyers to the Arabian Sea to maintain a “deterrent presence” in the area where the merchant ship was attacked by an alleged unmanned aircraft.
The MV Chem Pluto, a ship affiliated with Israel with 21 Indian workers on board, was attacked on Dec. 23, causing a fire that was controlled by the crew and left no casualties.
The ship arrived Monday at Mumbai port in western India, where it would be investigated and repaired.
While India has not commented on the source of the attack, the US Department of Defense said the attack was apparently from Iran.
The ship left Saudi Arabia on Dec. 19 and was heading to the southwestern Indian port of Mangalore. According to American media, the ship might have ties to Israel.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani denied the attack came from his country.
The recent escalation of attacks launched by Yeman has put global trade in check, especially on the crucial Red Sea and Arabian Sea routes.
Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza on Oct. 7, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have launched several rounds of missiles and drones against southern Israel in support of the Hamas militants.
The rebels, backed by Iran, have also struck ships bearing the Israeli flag or owned by Israeli companies in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait – connecting the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden -, which has caused large shipping companies to suspend their operations in the region. EFE