Credit: aljazeera

Commercial tanker attacked by missiles from Houthi-controlled Yemen, according to report

Two missiles launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen reportedly aimed at a commercial tanker near the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, according to a United States official cited by The Associated Press.

On Wednesday, the missiles narrowly missed the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel Ardmore Encounter, which was en route north to the Suez Canal in the Red Sea, marking the first time the group has targeted an energy shipment bound for the Suez Canal.

The ship, carrying Indian-manufactured jet fuel, was heading to either Rotterdam in the Netherlands or Gavle, Sweden, as indicated by tracking data. The vessel, departing from Mangalore in southern India, was equipped with an armed security crew.

The Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, who have declared their intention to target any ships traveling to or from Israel amid the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, did not immediately provide comments on the attacks that occurred on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Houthi official Mohammed Ali al-Houthi issued a warning to cargo ships in the Red Sea, advising them to avoid traveling towards Israel and urging prompt responses to any attempts by the Houthis to make contact.

Ardmore Shipping reported that no injuries occurred, and the vessel, Ardmore Encounter, remained “fully operational.”

The company assured that no unauthorized individuals boarded the vessel, and all crew members are safe and well. There was no loss of cargo or damage on board.

In addition, an anonymous US official cited by AP mentioned that a suspected Houthi drone approaching a US warship during the incident was shot down. Fortunately, no injuries were reported in this defensive action.

The Houthis’ assaults on crucial shipping routes, coupled with their deployment of drones and missiles towards Israel from a distance exceeding 1,600km (1,000 miles), have heightened concerns of regional escalation stemming from the Gaza conflict and posed a threat to the security of cargo shipments.

In a separate incident, a chemical tanker bearing the Marshall Islands flag reported an “exchange of fire” with a speedboat approximately 102km (63 miles) from Yemen’s coastal city of Hodeidah on Wednesday, according to an advisory note from British maritime security company Ambrey, as cited by Reuters.

The vessel, approached by an entity claiming to be the Yemeni Navy, experienced gunfire from the speedboat at a distance of about 300m.

Ambrey further noted that the same speedboat proceeded to approach a bulk carrier with the flag of Malta, situated 52 nautical miles off the shores of Hodeidah.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a division of the British military responsible for issuing warnings to sailors in the Middle East, previously reported a distinct incident off the coast of Oman.

According to their report, a vessel was trailed by five to six boats carrying machine guns and individuals in grey uniforms before managing to evade any harm.

In earlier communications, Al-Houthi, a high-ranking official within the group, had cautioned vessels against “falsifying their identity” or displaying flags differing from those of the country to which the cargo ship owner belongs.

On Tuesday, the Houthis claimed responsibility for striking a Norwegian tanker, marking their fifth attack on vessels since the onset of the Gaza war on October 7.

The Norwegian-owned and operated ship, Strinda, was targeted on Monday night as it navigated through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, separating East Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.

The rebel group asserted that the ship was attacked because it was transporting crude oil to an Israeli terminal. However, the ship’s owner contended that it was en route to Italy.


Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of and He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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