Published: 11:04, May 19, 2024
Houthi missile hits Panama-flagged oil tanker off Yemen's coast
By Xinhua

Houthi supporters attend a rally against the US-led strikes on Yemen and Israel's war in Gaza Strip, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb 23, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

ADEN - A Houthi missile strike hit a Panama-flagged crude oil tanker sailing in the Red Sea off the coast of Mokha, western Yemen on Saturday, causing a fire on board, a government coast guard official told Xinhua.

According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the incident occurred at around 3:00 am local time (0000 GMT) when the Houthis launched a missile attack targeting the oil tanker while it was navigating Yemeni territorial waters, approximately 10 nautical miles southwest of Mokha port in the Red Sea.

Since November last year, the Houthis have been conducting military operations in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, targeting ships they claim are Israeli or bound for Israel

The official confirmed that at least one missile directly struck the vessel, igniting a fire in the area housing the ship's steering equipment.

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Thus far, the Houthi group has not issued any statements or claims of responsibility regarding the attack.

Since November last year, the Houthis have been conducting military operations in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, targeting ships they claim are Israeli or bound for Israel.

This escalation comes against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip, which has been raging for more than seven months.

In response to the Houthi naval attacks, the United States and the United Kingdom initiated a military operation on Jan 12, involving air strikes and missile strikes against Houthi targets in areas under their control within Yemen.

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Amid the military operation by Washington and London, the Houthi group vowed retaliation and expanded the scope of their targeting to include American and British commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

Earlier this month, the Houthi group announced its decision to target all ships heading to Israel in the Mediterranean Sea.