A drone fired from Iran hits a tanker off the coast of India, the Pentagon says

A chemical tanker struck off the coast of India on Saturday was “attacked by a disposable attack drone fired from Iran,” a Pentagon statement said.

The attack occurred around 10 a.m. local time and caused no injuries on board the Japanese ship, it said, adding that a fire had been extinguished.

The US military “remains in communication with the ship as it continues to a destination in India,” it said.

The Pentagon statement said the Chem-Pluto ship was Liberian-flagged and operated by a Dutch company.

The drone attack occurred 200 nautical miles off the coast of India, it said, adding that there were no US Navy ships in the area.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the strike amid a spate of drone and missile attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen on a key shipping route in the Red Sea. The USA on Friday accused Iran the close involvement in these attacks.

However, Iran's deputy foreign minister said on Saturday rejected these US allegationsclaiming the group acted on its own initiative.

The Houthis say they are carrying out the attacks in solidarity with Palestinians in Turkey besieged Gaza Strip.

The Indian Navy said it was responding to a request for assistance.

“An aircraft was dispatched and reached the ship and provided safety for the affected ship and its crew,” a Navy official told AFP.

“An Indian Navy warship has also been dispatched to provide assistance if required.”