The U.S. military announced that a Norwegian oil and chemical tanker was struck by an anti-ship missile fired from Yemen, while transversing the Bab-el-Mandeb strait at 4 p.m. on Monday.
A Houthi spokesperson, Yahya Sare’e, confirmed the attack and claimed that the MV Strinda was fired upon when it “rejected all warning calls.” There were no reported casualties because of of the incident.
Sare’e stated that the reason for the strike was that the ship was allegedly carrying oil for use by Israel. The ship’s operator, J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, denied this allegation and said in a press release that the vessel’s destination was Italy, and it was carrying a cargo of palm oil from Malaysia.
The Strinda was reported to have suffered a fire on board and was rendered assistance by the USS Mason.
In the last several weeks, the Mason, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, has responded to several confrontations relating to the current security situation in the Red Sea.
France’s Ministry of Defense said in a separate statement that one of its frigates, the Languedoc, recently shot down a drone that was “threatening” the Strinda. On Dec 10, the same French warship reported that itself had come under attack from two Yemen-based drones.
The Houthi’s, an Iran-backed terrorist organization, have been carrying out a series of attacks and attempted hijackings on international shipping since the start of the Israeli military operations in Gaza. This action has caused Western naval forces to increase patrols in the area in order to secure the regions vital trade routes.
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