Houthi Missile Hits Tanker, Sparks Fire: US Military

Houthi Missile Hits Tanker, Sparks Fire: US Military

houthi missile attack
Image for representation purpose only

In a significant development impacting maritime security, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) reported that a commercial tanker was struck by an anti-ship cruise missile launched from Houthi-controlled Yemen. This Houthi missile incident aligns with a backdrop of increasing regional tensions, notably after the Iran-backed Houthi rebels threatened to target ships in proximity to Israel. This threat coincides with Israel’s ongoing conflict with the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Details of the Missile Strike

The attack occurred on Monday, December 11, and targeted a Norwegian-flagged tanker, the STRINDA. According to CENTCOM, the vessel was located about 60 Nautical Miles north of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, a crucial juncture linking the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. The missile strike led to a fire onboard, but there were no casualties reported. This incident underlines the growing vulnerability of commercial maritime traffic in this strategically important region.

The STRINDA’s Ordeal

The STRINDA, a chemical tanker owned by Mowinckel Chemical Tankers, was en route from Malaysia to Venice, Italy, laden with vegetable oil and biofuels. Despite the damage and ensuing fire caused by the missile strike, the vessel managed to stay afloat and operational. In the hours following the attack, the United States Navy’s USS MASON responded to the STRINDA’s mayday call, providing crucial assistance.

UK Maritime Agency Observes Unusual Activities

In a related development, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported unusual maritime activities near Yemen. The day after the STRINDA incident, the UKMTO received reports of a vessel being instructed by an entity claiming to be the Yemeni navy to divert to an unspecified Yemeni port. This incident adds another layer of complexity to the maritime security scenario in the region, as both the internationally recognized government of Yemen and the Houthi rebels identify themselves as the Yemeni navy.

Houthis’ Growing Maritime Threat

The recent missile attack on the Norwegian tanker comes in the wake of a direct threat issued by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels. On December 9, the Houthis declared their intention to target all ships heading towards Israel, irrespective of their nationality. This announcement is an extension of their support for the Palestinians amidst the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. Such threats from the Houthis pose a significant risk to international shipping and have raised concerns among global maritime stakeholders.

US Naval Presence and Response

The U.S. military’s presence in the region has become increasingly crucial in light of these rising threats. The CENTCOM statement highlighted that no U.S. ships were in the vicinity at the time of the STRINDA attack. However, the USS MASON’s quick response to assist the stricken tanker underscores the vital role of the U.S. Navy in maintaining maritime security in these troubled waters.

Escalation of Attacks on Commercial Vessels

Since the beginning of December, there has been a notable increase in attacks on commercial vessels navigating international waters. The U.S. Navy has had to intervene on multiple occasions. For instance, on December 3, the USS Carney, another American destroyer, responded to distress calls from three separate commercial vessels operating in the southern Red Sea, following missile and drone attacks. These incidents indicate a worrying trend of escalating maritime threats in the region.

You Might Also Like- Video: When Somali Pirates attacked my Ship – A Survivor Story

Growing Maritime Security Concerns

The missile attack on the STRINDA and the subsequent developments highlight the complex and volatile nature of maritime security in the region. The intertwining of regional conflicts, international shipping routes, and the presence of major naval powers like the United States in these waters contribute to a challenging and uncertain environment.

The international community, particularly those with significant maritime interests, will be closely monitoring these developments, as the security of crucial maritime routes remains a top priority. This incident, among others, serves as a stark reminder of the fragile security situation in one of the world’s most strategically significant maritime regions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts