News Blogmaritime piracy

An Iranian fishing vessel captured by pirates in Somalia?

(B2) An Iranian fishing boat was reportedly captured by Somali pirates off the coast of Somalia, “ this week », Announces AFP, citing an official from the UNODC (the United Nations office on drugs and crime). The fishing vessel was allegedly engaged in illegal fishing. Information which, however, raises certain questions. B2 was able to get Alan Cole, the head of UNODC, who confirmed the information. As for the European maritime anti-piracy force (EUNAVFOR) present in the area, we are more cautious and we just confirm “ investigate on this case.

If it were to be confirmed, CThis would thus be the pirates' first capture in almost three years and the boarding of the Greek tanker Mv Smyrni on May 10, 2012 in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman (read: Another ship freed from pirates).

Iranian tankers attacked several times in the Gulf of Aden?

For its part, the Iranian news agency (IRNA) mentions that the Iranian navy has foiled several pirate attacks against Iranian tankers in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

The latest attack was foiled on Wednesday (March 25) morning, when a group of 32 pirates — aboard 4 fast skiffs, assisted by a whaler, undoubtedly acting as the mother ship — attempted to storm a tanker in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea, between Yemen and Djibouti.

Another attack was reported on Sunday (March 22) when several pirates, aboard two skiffs, attempted to stop the tanker very close to the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait by opening fire. An initial intervention by the navy was not enough. Three hours later, the pirates aboard six skiffs, this time, returned to the attack with “semi-heavy weapons” specifies Irna (RPGs undoubtedly). “ They were forced to withdraw after several hours of exchanges of fire. This is the most severe commitment of the Iranian Navy in their mission to protect Iranian merchant ships “says the command of the Iranian navy.

On February 3, the Iranian Navy's 33rd Fleet — consisting of the destroyer Shahid Qandi, of the logistics vessel Bandar Abbas and the submarine Tariq — had also foiled two separate pirate attacks on Iranian tankers on the high seas.

Incidents which have not been reported by the maritime forces present in the area (in particular EUNAVFOR *) such as professional maritime sources (BMI). NB: it is true that the Iranian navy is the only navy present in the area not part of the “information sharing and deconfliction” system (Shade) which brings together all NATO, European, Asian and other ships. Russians, active in the fight against piracy.


(*) The NATO “Ocean Shield” force is no longer permanently present in the area.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).