Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Kees Torn
CSAV Tyndall and Smit Panther tug boat, March 8, 2019

The CSAV Tyndall cargo vessel, sailing under the flag of Liberia, was attacked Saturday while transiting the northern part of the Indian Ocean.

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Sources quoted by the Hezbollah-linked Al Mayadeen news site said an unidentified weapon struck the vessel, causing a fire aboard the ship.

The ship was last docked at the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia before heading towards the port of Jebel Ali in Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates.

The crew on board the vessel were not Israeli nationals, according to Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster. No injuries were reported in the attack.

Israel’s Channel N12 News and sources quoted by Walla! News correspondent Barak Ravid reported that ship tracking sites list the ship as owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime Ltd. company.

However, according to Walla! News correspondent Barak Ravid, Channel N12 News and the Hebrew-language Maariv newspaper, the ship was sold two months ago and no longer owned by the Ofer family or any other Israeli firm.

“In the shipping records, the ship appears, as of December 2020, under the Zodiac company and apparently the details of the new owners in the reservoirs have not yet been updated,” according to Intellitimes.

The Hebrew-language Ynet news site quoted unnamed Israeli sources as saying Iran is suspected of being behind the attack, perhaps in retaliation for an attack last month on a centrifuge manufacturing site.

“The Iranians are very careful not to cause casualties, but rather to send a message,” Al Mayadeen quoted from “Israeli media.” The site added, “The assessment in ‘Israel’ is that Iran was the one who carried out the operation against the Israeli ship.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.