Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Houthis fire two missiles at jet fuel tanker in Red Sea; US warship downs drone

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Two missiles fired from territory held by Yemen’s Houthi rebels missed a commercial tanker loaded with Indian-manufactured jet fuel near the key Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Wednesday, a US official said.

An American warship also shot down a suspected Houthi drone flying in its direction during the incident, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. No one was hurt in the attack, the official said.

The assault on the tanker Ardmore Encounter further internationalizes a campaign by the Iranian-backed rebels targeting ships close to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. That potentially imperils cargo and energy shipments coming through the Suez Canal and further widens the international impact of the Israel-Hamas war raging in the Gaza Strip.

The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker was traveling north toward the Suez Canal in the Red Sea, satellite tracking data analyzed by The Associated Press showed. The vessel had been coming from Mangalore, India, and had an armed security crew aboard it, according to data transmitted by the ship.

Ardmore Shipping Corp., which owns and operates the ship, issued a statement to the AP acknowledging the attack. READ MORE