The Chem Pluto, a Liberia-flagged, Japanese-owned vessel operated by a Netherlands-based company, experienced a one-way attack drone strike causing structural damage. Fortunately, the fire on board was promptly extinguished, and there were no casualties.

The vessel, en route from Saudi Arabia to India, has links to Israel, according to maritime security firm Ambrey. This event marks a departure from recent incidents involving Houthi rebels in Yemen, backed by Iran, who have targeted vessels in the Red Sea using drones and rockets.

The US has publicly accused Iran of directly targeting a ship for the first time, emphasizing that the Chem Pluto was hit by a drone fired from Iran. While Iran has not commented on the incident, tensions have risen as Houthi rebels continue their attacks, and the US accuses Iran of planning operations against commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

The Pentagon stated that the incident occurred 200 nautical miles southwest of Veraval in India's Gujarat state. Simultaneously, in a separate development, the US Central Command reported Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles fired into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea. The USS Laboon warship intercepted four unmanned aerial drones inbound to the vessel from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.

Global shipping groups have responded to the increased risk of attacks by suspending operations in the Red Sea, prompting the UK government to vow to ensure the route's safety.

Maritime security experts express uncertainty in the region, with container ships more likely to reroute due to the lack of stability, creating unease among clients and shipping companies operating in the area