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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Houthis allege targeting of American merchant vessel in the Red Sea

The vessel in question, named the KOI and purportedly under US operation, recently encountered a significant incident involving an onboard explosion. Ambrey, a maritime security firm, reported the explosion but did not disclose the ship’s identity. However, it has been revealed that the KOI is a Liberian-flagged container ship operated by Oceonix Services, a UK-based company whose fleet includes the previously damaged Marlin Luanda oil tanker.

The Houthi rebel group, considering Israeli, US, and British ships as legitimate targets due to geopolitical tensions, claimed responsibility for the incident. Yahya Sarea, the Houthi military spokesperson, asserted that they had targeted the KOI with naval missiles while the ship was en route to what they referred to as “the ports of occupied Palestine,” a phrase often associated with Israel. Sarea warned of potential retaliation against what he termed as “British-American escalation,” declaring all American and British vessels in the Red and Arabian Seas as legitimate targets as long as perceived aggression continues.

Also Read: Covert Israeli Operation: Forces Disguised in Hospital Raid

Simultaneously, the United States initiated new air strikes in Yemen, targeting 10 drones believed to be preparing for launch. These drones posed a threat to both merchant vessels and US warships in the region, according to the US Central Command. The military operation resulted in the destruction of all 10 drones and a Houthi drone control station. The US also reported its warship’s interception of three Iranian drones and a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile in the Gulf of Aden.

These developments have heightened concerns about potential disruptions to international trade, particularly in the Red Sea, with fears of supply bottlenecks. The broader context of the conflict involves historical references to events such as the infiltration of southern Israel by Palestinian gunmen from Gaza on October 7, resulting in casualties and hostage situations. Subsequent Israeli military campaigns in Gaza, as reported by the health ministry controlled by the Hamas group, have led to significant civilian casualties. The multifaceted nature of these geopolitical tensions underscores the complexity and potential ramifications of the situation in the region.

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