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The United States has issued an alert to commercial ships traversing the Indian Ocean due to recent maritime conflicts in the region, particularly in the Red Sea.

The Maritime Administration, a part of the US Department of Transportation, released a directive on Monday urging heightened vigilance for ships traveling in these waters. This alert, set to expire on December 4, follows two previous advisories in September and October, emphasizing the need for commercial vessels to be aware of potential threats and to take preventive measures while operating near the Middle East.

The US advises ships to steer clear of Iranian international waters and Yemeni ports as much as possible while remaining alert for small boats and drones that could present dangers. In cases where an Iranian group attempts to intercept a vessel, the advisories recommend that the crew contact the US 5th Fleet for assistance. Recent incidents include the seizure of two ships by Iranian forces in the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz during spring and attempts to seize two more in July.

The conflict that erupted between Israel and Hamas on October 7 has escalated tensions in the region, leading to further maritime incidents. The Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen captured an Israeli-linked commercial tanker on November 19, and an Israeli billionaire’s container ship was targeted by Iranian drones last week.

Additionally, the US Navy thwarted an attempt by Somali pirates to capture a commercial tanker with Israeli connections in the Gulf of Aden, as reported by the Pentagon.


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