US Military Vessel Shoots Down, two missiles fired from Yemen missed a commercial tanker, prompting Iran-backed rebels to caution ships in the Red Sea to avoid traveling to Israel.
US Military Vessel Shoots Down Houthi Drone Flying in its Direction
According to a US official, a US warship shot down a suspected Houthi drone heading towards it, while two missiles fired from a region held by Yemen’s rebel group missed a commercial tanker moving through the Red Sea.
Apparently, to a US official, no one was injured when the warship opened fire during the incident on Wednesday.
The Ardmore Encounter, an oil and chemical tanker from the Marshall Islands, was targeted near the vital Bab el-Mandeb Strait. According to satellite tracking data, it was heading north towards the Suez Canal in the Red Sea.
According to data supplied by the ship, the vessel was on its way from India and was carrying an armed security team. The attack was not immediately acknowledged by the Houthis.
The ship’s owner and operator, Ardmore Shipping Corp., stated all crew members were secure and that no one had stormed the vessel, which is still fully operational.
The ship was on its way to either the Netherlands or Sweden when it was attacked.
The owner went on to say: “Ardmore is in close contact with the relevant authorities and military assistance is now in the area providing support as required.”
It is the latest in a string of attacks by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels against ships transiting the Red Sea.
The rebel group has been targeting ships just off the coast of Yemen in protest of Israel’s bombardment on Gaza, which has killed over 18,000 people, the majority of them are women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
A top Houthi spokesman cautioned cargo ships in the Red Sea on Tuesday to avoid sailing towards Israel, following the group’s claim of an attack on a commercial tanker earlier in the day.
The Houthis previously stated that they fired a missile at a Norwegian commercial tanker in their latest protest against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which began in retribution for a killing in southern Israel on 7 October by the Hamas militant group.
According to Pentagon press secretary Air Force Major General Pat Ryder, the Houthi rebels’ recent activities are “clearly a flagrant violation of international law.”
“And so this is an international problem that requires an international solution,” he stated at a press conference. We will continue to work closely with our international friends and partners to put in place a marine task force.”
Mr Ryder also stated that additional details concerning a naval task force would be released shortly.
Meanwhile, the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker was heading north towards the Red Sea’s Suez Canal, according to satellite tracking data analyzed by The Associated Press.
According to data supplied by the ship, the ship was on its way from Mangalore, India, and was carrying armed security personnel.
According to the private intelligence group Ambrey, the guards opened fire to drive away skiffs loaded with men attempting to board the vessel.
Ardmore Shipping Corp., which owns and operates the ship, acknowledged the attack in a statement to the Associated Press.
‘No one boarded the vessel, and all crew members are safe and well,’ according to the statement. ‘The vessel is still fully functioning, with no cargo loss or damage on board.’
It went on to say, ‘Ardmore is in close contact with the necessary authorities, and military assistance is now in the area providing help as required.’
The ship was transporting jet fuel from Shell MRPL Aviation Fuels & Services Ltd., a joint venture between the oil behemoth and India’s national oil company. Ardmore Shipping stated that the fuel was en route to either Rotterdam, Netherlands, or Gavle, Sweden. Shell has refused to comment.
Ardmore Shipping rose marginally to $13.64 per share on the New York Stock Exchange early Wednesday.
The attack was not immediately acknowledged by the Houthis.
A different incident off the coast of Oman was previously reported by the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which sends warnings to ships in the Middle East. According to the report, a vessel was pursued by smaller boats carrying machine guns and men in grey uniforms before escaping unscathed.
A missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels slammed into a Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea off Yemen’s coast near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Monday night.
The Houthis have launched drones and missiles at Israel in response to a series of attacks on ships in the Red Sea. They have recently threatened to strike any vessel they believe is heading to or returning from Israel. There was no obvious connection between the Ardmore Encounter and Israel.
Analysts believe the Houthis are hoping to shore up dwindling civilian support in Yemen following years of civil war between the rebels and Saudi-backed forces.