Indian Navy warships deployed in Red Sea against pirates
Stepping up its presence to show the flag and deter piracy and drone strikes, the Indian Navy has now deployed almost 10 frontline warships with marine commandos in the region stretching from the north and central Arabian Sea to the Gulf of Aden, the officials said on Friday.
"6-10 major indigenous Indian Navy warships, including sestroyers, frigates and offshore patrol vessels, are deployed in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden with a special focus near the coast of Somalia to prevent piracy and drone attacks on merchant vessels," the navy officials said.
According to the officials, the Indian warships are keeping an eye on the situation to deter any incidents at sea.
Addressing media persons after unveiling the first indigenously manufactured Drishti 10 Starliner Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in Hyderabad on Wednesday, the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar said, "Over the past 42 days, as many as 35 such attacks (approximately) have taken place, primarily targeting Israeli-owned vessels. However, no India-flagged vessel has been attacked so far."
"We are now, very proactively, deploying our units there to ensure that the pirates at kept at bay. If you look at the last 40-42 days, about 35 such attacks have taken place, largely on Israeli-owned shipping assets. No India-flagged vessel has been attacked so far," the naval chief said.
The Navy chief added that there have only been two incidents, so far, which prompted the marine warriors to conduct anti-piracy operations.
"Both incidents involved non-Indian-flagged vessels. In the second incident, an Indian crew was aboard the vessel, prompting the Navy to respond," he added.
"We have not yet been able to identify from where all these attacks are being directed. We have collected debris of drones collected from three ships and are analysing it," the Navy chief said.
Meanwhile, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday spoke with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and discussed the recent attacks on merchant ships by the Yemen-backed Houthi groups in the Red Sea and reaffirmed their maritime cooperation in the region, as per US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller
During their telephonic conversation, the US Secretary of State emphasised that the Red Sea is a major commercial corridor that facilitates international trade and welcomed increased cooperation with India in defending freedom of navigation in the region.
Earlier in December, Blinken said the US has deepened its partnership with India, adding that his country has elevated cooperation with New Delhi, Japan and Australia through the Quad.