London– UK-based International shipping weekly Fairplay warned last month that Somali pirates would spread their criminal wings beyond their conventional operating zone. Which means there was an element of predictability about the piracy attack on the very large crude carrier Sirius Star.
Jim Wilson, Middle East Correspondent for Fairplay commented “This attack marks a significant step up in the confidence and capability of Somali pirates to attack shipping. It may also mark the effect of increased anti-pirate naval activity in the Gulf of Aden.”
In an interview, UK Royal Navy Commodore Keith Winstanley, deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in the Middle East, told Fairplay: “It’s inconceivable that the Coalition can be everywhere. The pirates will go somewhere we are not. If we patrol the Gulf of Aden then they will go to Mogadishu. If we go to Mogadishu, they will go to the Gulf of Aden.”
The Sirius Star was attacked in the Arabian Sea, more than 450 n-miles southeast of Kenya’s Mombasa port, well outside the normal theatre for Somali piracy.
CMF data analysis shows that the combination of both military and civilian involvement in the Gulf of Aden reduced the percentage of successful piracy attacks from 53% in August to 31% in October.
“Our presence in the region is helping deter and disrupt criminal attacks off the Somali coast, but the situation with the Sirius Star clearly indicates the pirates’ ability to adapt their tactics and methods of attack” says Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, CMF Commander.
[ Via Janes Press Release ]
London-- UK-based International shipping weekly Fairplay warned last month that Somali pirates would spread…
by Tactical-Life.com / Nov 18, 2008