One of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the Mason helped ensure the safety of the tanker, Reuters reported.

Earlier on Sunday, unidentified gunmen detained a tanker loaded with phosphoric acid in the Gulf of Aden.

Agence France-Presse reported on Sunday, citing a US defense official, that a ship linked to Israel was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, in the second such incident in days in the region.

The Associated Press quoted identical sources as saying that attackers had taken control of a ship that turned out to be an Israeli-linked tanker off the coast of Aden, southern Yemen.

The militants seized a vessel called Central Barak, operated by international ship management company Zodiac Maritime, according to three sources, including the company itself.

But the company described what happened to the ship as a "suspected piracy incident".

The company said in a statement that its priority now is the safety of the 22 crew members who were on board.

The crew includes a mix of nationalities such as Bulgarian, Indian, Georgian and Filipino, and is led by a Turkish captain, she said.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which followed two other attacks in recent days in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean linked to Israel's war on Gaza.

The Houthi group in Yemen carried out one of these attacks, which was the seizure of a ship in the Red Sea and the detention of their crew, which the group said was linked to Israel, but the latter denied that link.