Houthi Forces Claim Another Hit on “American” Tanker

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord
18-Jan-2024

Hours after American forces conducted strikes on Houthi missile launch sites in Yemen, the group claimed another successful attack on a merchant ship linked to American operators. 

“The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces carried out a targeting operation against an American ship (Chem Ranger) in the Gulf of Aden with several appropriate naval missiles, resulting in direct hits,” Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree said in a statement. 

The claim could not be immediately verified, but multiple attempted attacks were reported in the same region Thursday. 

Other than the location of its flag state’s administrative office, Chem Ranger has no clear connection with any American entity, based on its Equasis record. The firm’s management and ownership addresses are all in Athens.

Saree threatened further retaliation for future American airstrikes, and promised that Houthi forces will continue to attack any Israel-bound or Israel-linked shipping. He claimed (without evidence) that the Houthi campaign would not interrupt other international shipping through the Red Sea. 

Houthi forces have also hit ships with no clear linkage to Israel or the United States, and total traffic through the Suez Canal has dropped by an estimated 40 percent since the group began its campaign in November. Virtually all large container ships are diverting around the Cape of Good Hope, along with a growing number of vessels of other types. The attacks have substantially raised the price of containerized freight, and the longer transit period around Africa is beginning to affect the parts supply chain for manufacturers in northern Europe. 

In a series of advisories released Thursday night, Royal Navy security agency UKMTO reported two UAV appearances and apparent near-misses in the Gulf of Aden. In one instance at the east end of the gulf, a merchant ship reported that no less than four unidentified UAVs were flying nearby, and one went into the water at a position about 800 meters away. In the second incident, located some 115 nautical miles southeast of Aden, a vessel reported that one UAV went into the water just 30 meters off the port side. No damage was reported in either encounter.

 

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