In a concerning development, the US military has reported that Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at an American-owned tanker in the Red Sea on Thursday night. The incident marks the third attack on commercial shipping vessels by Houthi terrorists in as many days, escalating tensions in the region and disrupting global trade.
The attack, occurring around 9 pm Yemen local time, targeted the M/V Chem Ranger, a Marshall Island-flagged tanker that is both US-owned and Greek-operated. The missiles hit the water near the vessel, causing no reported injuries or damage to the ship. The crew of the Chem Ranger observed the impact and the ship continued its journey.
The US Central Command conveyed the incident through a post on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), highlighting the persistent threat posed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. The attack follows the Houthis’ claim of launching a missile attack on a US ship in the Gulf of Aden earlier on Friday, specifically identifying the targeted vessel as the Chem Ranger. However, the details of the timing of the attack were not provided by the Houthis.
The Red Sea has witnessed a surge in Houthi aggression, prompting recent retaliatory strikes by United States and British forces in Yemen. The strategic waterway’s significance in global trade and maritime routes amplifies concerns about the safety of commercial shipping vessels.
The Chem Ranger, a Marshall Islands-flagged chemical tanker, was sailing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Kuwait at the time of the attack. The vessel reported a “suspicious” drone approach southeast of the Yemeni port of Aden, with one drone falling into the sea approximately 30 meters from the tanker.
An Indian warship responded promptly to the event, as reported by the British maritime risk management company Ambrey. While the drone incident had no reported crew casualties or damage, it underscores the escalating threats faced by vessels navigating the Red Sea.
The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency also reported a similar incident in the region, where a drone approached a merchant ship, resulting in an explosion reported in the water about 30 meters away.
The continuous aggression by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea raises concerns about the safety of maritime navigation and the potential impact on global trade routes. The international community closely monitors developments in the region as tensions persist and security measures are heightened to safeguard commercial shipping interests.
Sources By Agencies