Indian-flagged oil tanker hit by Houthis in Red Sea: US military

New Delhi: An Indian-flagged crude oil tanker was hit by a drone fired by Houthi militants in the Southern Red Sea, the US military said on Saturday, adding that no injuries were reported from the strike.

The Gabon-owned M/V SAIBABA tanker reported at approximately 8 p.m. (Sanaa time) that it was hit by a one-way drone, following which the USS LABOON (DDG 58), a US Navy destroyer, responded to their distress call, the US Central Command said in a post on X.

The US Navy destroyer was then patrolling in the Southern Red Sea as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian between 3 and 8 p.m. local time.

“Two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles were fired into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea from Houthi controlled areas of Yemen,” the Central Command said.

The ship reported that it was not impacted by the ballistic missiles.

According to the post, the USS LABOON also shot down four unmanned aerial drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen that were inbound toward the American vessel.

“These attacks represent the 14th and 15th attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi militants since October 17,” the Central Command said.

Ships in the Red Sea have increasingly come under attack by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7.

The Houthi rebels have declared their support for Hamas and said they will target any ship travelling to Israel.

In response, the US has launched Operation Prosperity Guardian to protect ships, and it is supported by countries, including the UK, Canada, France, Bahrain, Norway and Spain.

Major shipping firms including Mediterranean Shipping Company, Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and the oil company BP have all said they are diverting vessels away from the Red Sea.


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