“Unidentified Projectile” Hits Tanker off Yemen: Security Agencies

Sun Mar 24 2024
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: A ship was hit by “an unidentified projectile” on Saturday off the coast of Yemen, where Houthi rebels have stepped up attacks on ships in the Red Sea, the Royal navy’s United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations said.

The vessel in question was a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker en route to India’s New Mangalore port, according to Japan’s Amber Coast Guard.

UKMTO said the collision caused a fire which was “successfully extinguished” and the vessel and crew reported to be safe. It added that the ship is moving to its next port.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which according to UKMTO, struck 23 nautical miles west of the Yemeni port of Mokha.

Maritime security agency Ambrey said the targeted vessel was a Panama-flagged oil tanker en route to New Mangalore Port in India.

The details of the tanker’s registration, including its name and operator, have been changed in February 2024, Ambrey said.

Security officials said the tanker was registered in 2019 by the British company Union Maritime Ltd., noting that another vessel belonging to the same company had previously been targeted by the Houthis.

Iran-backed rebels, who control much of Yemen’s Red Sea coast, have carried out dozens of missile and drone attacks on ships in the past four months.

The Houthis have vowed to target Israeli, British and American ships and vessels bound for Israeli ports, disrupting traffic on key trade routes.

The United States, which leads an international coalition aimed at protecting shipping in the Red Sea, has been attacking Houthi targets in Yemen since mid-January.

On Friday, the US military announced that it had conducted defensive strikes against three Houthi underground warehouses.

On the same day, US Central Command announced that its forces had destroyed four drones and recorded four anti-ship ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis into the Red Sea.

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