Indian Navy deploys unprecedented might near Red Sea to control piracy


As Western powers focus on strikes by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis, India has sent out at least a dozen warships east of the Red Sea to guard against pirates and has looked into over 250 vessels, according to Indian officials.

India does not have any warships in the Red Sea and has not joined the task force headed by the United States. However, the officials stated that it now possesses surveillance planes, at least ten warships in the northern and western Arabian Sea, and two frontline vessels in the Gulf of Aden.

They said that this is India’s biggest deployment in the area.

According to Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s expanding interests, capacity, and reputation made it worthy of assistance in trying times.

India claims to have the largest naval force in the region, however other nations such as the US, France, and China also have a presence.

As piracy reappears after a six-year hiatus, Indian military and defense officials reported that naval personnel, including special commandos, had inspected over 250 vessels and small boats in the last two months, boarding over 40 of them.

The Indian Navy said that since December 1, at least 17 instances of hijacking, attempted hijacking, and suspicious approaches have been reported.

The Indian Navy has rescued two Iranian and helped rescue a Sri Lankan fishing vessels in the first two days of this week. In December, it helped two merchant vessels targeted by aerial strikes close to India’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Since November, the Houthis of Yemen have assaulted ships in the Red Sea, a waterway that carries 12% of all commercial traffic worldwide. They claim this is in an effort to aid the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel.

This month, a task force led by the United States began attacking Houthi forces throughout Yemen while defending ships in the Red Sea.

(With agency inputs)

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