An American official told The New York Times on Tuesday that Israel had notified the United States that its forces had struck the Iranian military vessel Saviz in the Red Sea at about 7:30 a.m. local time.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the Israelis had called the attack a retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels.
The official added that the Saviz had been damaged below the water line.
Israeli officials had not commented as of Tuesday night on the attack on the vessel.
Reports dating back to October 2020 suggest that the Saviz, registered as a merchant ship and a suspected covert Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forward base, is stationed in a strategic position on the coast of Yemen.
Automated Information System transmissions and analysis of commercial satellite images show the ship has barely moved in the past three years. The ship lies adjacent to the Suez Canal and not far from the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, forming a natural choking point.
Several Iranian news outlets on Tuesday showed images of flames and smoke billowing from the stricken vessel, but the full extent of the damage or any casualties was unclear, according to The New York Times.