Israel has said it attacked an Iranian ship which it says is a base for Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Red Sea waters.
The Iranian cargo vessel was damaged reportedly by a mine, between Yemen and Eritrea. In earlier reports, Saudi Arabia's state broadcaster Al-Hadath TV had raised the possibility that Israe might have been behind the attack.
Later, an anonymous US official said Israel was indeed behind the attack, NYT reported. According to the source, Tel Aviv called the attack a "retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels."
Later on Wednesday, Israel said it 'notified' the US that it was responsible for the assault in the Red Sea waters near Eritrea. Israel said the cargo ship was affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Meanwhile, IRGC-affiliated Tasnim news agency confirmed that the ship was damaged in an 'explosion' caused by mines that hit the ship's hull. The vessel has been identified as Saviz. According to Israel, this vessel has long been used as a 'forward base' for the IRGC.
According to the Israeli JPost, the United States Naval Institute (USNI) had designated the Saviz as a likely covert IRGC forward base though it was officially listed as a merchant ship. The Iranian media says that the vessel has been patrolling in the Red Sea waters to host security personnel that escort Iran's commercial ships.
The report adds that USNI feared that the Saviz might have been used to feed intelligence to Iran and the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.
In an escalation in the ongoing tensions between Iran and the US, two rockets landed near an Iraqi military air base in Salahudin province north of capital Baghdad earlier this week. The base houses some US experts and advisers. This was the latest in a series of rocket attacks on Iraqi military bases which have American presence.
The office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said the rockets landed near the Balad air base, which is some 90 km north of Baghdad. The attack did not cause casualties. The missiles were fired from al-Dojama, an area located across the Tigris River in the neighboring Diyala province, IANS reported, citing a statement issued by the media office of the Iraqi command.