As the shadow war between Iran and Israel appears to be heating up at sea, another Israeli-owned vessel reportedly came under missile fire in the Gulf of Oman early Thursday morning, possibly by Iranian forces.
According to media reports, the Liberian-flagged container ship Lori departed from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania on March 21, heading for the port of Mundra on the west coast of India, when it was struck.
Channel 12 news said Iran was suspected of being behind the attack.
The ship, which was reportedly lightly damaged, is owned by the Haifa-based company XT Management Ltd., according to Israel Defense. It continued on its way and was expected to arrive in India Wednesday.
No one was hurt in the incident.
The alleged attack comes after both Israel and Iran have accused each other of escalating attacks against merchant ships.
The operation seems to have been carefully planned, and mirrored a series of attacks on tankers in 2019 and an Iranian campaign against shipping vessels four decades ago.
Earlier this month, an Iranian investigator told local media that Israel is the likely suspect behind an attack in the Mediterranean that damaged an Iranian cargo ship.
The alleged attacks mark a new front in the shadow war between Israel and Iran.
Iran has blamed Israel for a recent series of attacks, including a mysterious explosion last summer that destroyed an advanced centrifuge assembly plant at its Natanz nuclear facility and the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian scientist who founded the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program two decades ago.
Tensions have heated in the Middle East in recent months, as Iran repeatedly violated the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers ahead of possible talks with the Biden administration.