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Israel-Hamas war taking shape of regional crisis, bang felt in Indian Ocean

2023-12-28 04:24:10

The Israel-Hamas war is threatening to escalate into a regional crisis, sucking the United States into its vortex. The signs that the war in Gaza is spreading were evident from the attack on a merchant vessel close to India’s shores.

The Red Sea has been hot, and now the jolts of a war spreading are being felt in the Indian Ocean. And behind this is the age-old battle for dominance in the Middle East.

It was no coincidence that the MV Chem Pluto, which was targeted in a drone attack allegedly by Houthi militants on December 23, was an Israel-affiliated ship.

It was hit about 200 nautical miles off the Indian coast.

The cargo ship was carrying crude oil from Al Jubail port in Saudi Arabia to New Mangalore port in India.

What is the connection between Israel’s war in Gaza targeting Hamas and the attack on an India-bound ship? Or, for that instance, how are the attacks on US troops and assets in Iraq linked to the Gaza war?


The war started after Hamas terrorists infiltrated into Israel on October 7 and massacred 1,200 Israelis and took hundreds hostage.

Israel pummelled Hamas-controlled Gaza and later launched a ground offensive there.

Iran’s involvement in the conflict has added another layer of complexity. Tehran has been a crucial backer of Hamas, providing funding, arms, training, and intelligence for decades, which has been instrumental for the group’s military and terrorist activities.

Iran also has supported a network of political and armed groups across the Middle East, including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, who share a common cause with the Palestinian resistance and view Israel as a major adversary.

The conflict’s potential to morph into a full-blown regional crisis is underscored by the actions of these Iranian-backed militias.


The Iran-backed groups have targeted US forces in Iraq and Syria, and Yemen’s Houthis have launched missiles and drones at Israel.

There have been dozens of attacks by Iranian-backed militias targeting US forces in Iraq and Syria since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. This indicates a concerted effort to engage US interests in the region directly.

The Iran-affiliated terrorist group Kataib Hezbollah targeted American military personnel in a drone strike on a military base in Iraq on December 25. Three American soldiers were injured and one is in critical condition, according to reports.

The US carried out retaliatory strikes after the Kataib Hezbollah attack on the Erbil Air Base in northern Iraq.

On November 20, several US personnel were injured in a ballistic missile attack by Iran-backed militias on Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq.

There have been several incidents of Yemen-based Houthi rebels attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

In the latest attack on the Red Sea, US forces on December 26 intercepted a barrage of drones and missiles fired by Houthi rebels. The Houthis, too, are backed by the Iranian government.

The Pentagon has blamed the attack on the India-bound MV Chem Pluto also on the Houthi militants. Iran, however, has denied any links to the attacks.


The implications of this war are not limited to the immediate theatre of conflict. The global effects are profound, with the potential to disrupt trade and the global crude oil supply.

The attacks have prompted some freight carriers to take the Africa route instead of the more economical Suez Canal passage. This could end up disrupting global supply chains.

Over 20% of the world’s crude comes from West Asia, and conflict in the region could push crude oil prices up to $150 per barrel. For the US economy, an escalation could send gas prices above $5 a gallon, trigger inflation surges, and risk plunging the nation into recession.

As the Israel-Hamas war intensifies, the involvement of Iran-led militias targeting US forces adds a dangerous dimension, threatening to transform the Israel-Palestine conflict into a wider regional crisis.

The international community watches with concern as the stability of the Middle East hangs in the balance, with the potential for far-reaching economic and geopolitical consequences. An example of that happening was witnessed in the attack on the India-bound MV Chem Pluto on December 23, not very far from India’s coast.

Published On:

Dec 28, 2023

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Israel news, Israel Hamas war, Israel war, US middle east, US middle east war, US Iran news, US Iran war, us iran war 2023, Red Sea news, Red Sea attacks, Indian Ocean trade

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