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Houthi missile hits Greek tanker in Red Sea, US says

Houthi missile hits Greek tanker in Red Sea, US says


Yemen's Houthi militants struck an oil tanker in the Red Sea with a ballistic missile early Saturday, damaging the Greek-flagged vessel in their latest attack against Israel's war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, officials said.

Although the Houthis did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack, they claimed to have shot down another US MQ-9 Reaper military drone over Yemen and launched other attacks on ships, disrupting trade on a route key maritime route leading to the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.

The attack struck around 1 a.m. the tanker Wind, which recently docked in Russia and was heading to China, U.S. Central Command said. China and Russia have military equipment and oil ties with Iran, the Houthis' main benefactor.

The missile strike “caused a flood that resulted in a loss of propulsion and steering,” Central Command said on Social Platform X. “The M/T Wind crew was able to restore propulsion and steering, and no casualties were reported. M/T Wind resumed its course under its own power.”

The British Army's Maritime Commercial Operations Center and private security firm Ambrey also acknowledged the attack on Saturday. Ambrey said this caused a fire aboard the Wind.

It can take hours or even days for the Houthis to claim responsibility for their attacks.

Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, the Houthis have attacked or threatened more than 100 commercial or military vessels in the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden.

The Houthis say their attacks are a protest against Israel's war against Hamas and against U.S. support for Israel, but U.S. officials emphasize that many of the ships targeted by the group have no connection to Israel.

People wave guns, Yemeni and Palestinian flags and Houthi emblems and shout slogans as they take part in a mass demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian people, May 17, 2024, in Sanaa, Yemen. Getty Images

Houthi attacks have declined in recent weeks as the rebels have been targeted by a US-led campaign of airstrikes in Yemen. The US and UK, with support from other countries, have carried out four rounds of joint airstrikes to destroy Houthi capabilities in Yemen. Additionally, the U.S. military regularly conducts self-defense strikes against Houthi missiles and drones when it sees the Houthis preparing for an attack.

However, shipping via the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden remains low due to the threat.

The Houthis claimed to have shot down the Reaper on Thursday with a surface-to-air missile. They described the drone as “carrying out hostile actions” in Yemen's Marib province, which remains held by allies of the internationally recognized Yemeni government in exile.

Before Thursday, three Reaper drones had crashed since November in or near Yemen, at least two of which were confirmed to have been shot down by the Houthis.

The Reapers, which cost about $30 million each, can fly at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet and have an endurance of up to 24 hours before needing to land.

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