May 18, 2024

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An oil tanker was hit by a Houthi missile attack

An oil tanker was hit by a Houthi missile attack
  • Written by Katherine Armstrong
  • BBC News

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, The Houthis have been carrying out attacks on ships for more than five months (archive photo)

A crude oil tanker was damaged in a missile attack off the coast of Yemen, in the latest strike carried out by the Houthis.

The accident occurred approximately 15 nautical miles southwest of the Yemeni city of Mokha.

The UK Maritime Security Agency (UKMTO) said the Panamanian-flagged ship was hit twice and sustained damage.

No injuries or deaths were reported and the incident is being investigated.

According to the UKMTO, the first missile attack caused an explosion near the ship and was felt by those on board. The second missile, believed to contain two missiles, made contact.

Ambrey International Risk Management said that three missiles had been detected.

It added that ballistic missiles were launched from Taiz Governorate, southwest of Yemen.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack. The group's military spokesman, Yahya Saree, said in a televised speech on Saturday that a “British” ship called “Andromeda Star” was targeted, which led to a “direct hit.”

US Central Command confirmed that the Andromeda Star was the ship in question, and that it had suffered minor damage and was continuing its journey.

Embry stated that the tanker in question was owned by the United Kingdom until November 2023.

Embry advised ship owners and operators to conduct a “thorough affiliation check” before crossing the area “as the Houthis may tie up ships with old affiliations.”

Since November, the rebel group has launched attacks on ships it says are linked to Israel in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, saying its actions support Palestinians in Gaza.

In response, the United States and the United Kingdom carried out a series of attacks on Houthi targets inside Yemen, prompting the Houthis to retaliate against ships they believe are linked to those countries.

Rebel attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea prompted many shipping companies to stop using the waterway, through which about 12% of global seaborne trade passes.