Chinese-Owned Tanker Hit by Houthi Missile in Red Sea: CENTCOM
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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

In a recent escalation of hostilities in the Red Sea, a Chinese-owned oil tanker fell victim to an attack on Saturday by ballistic missiles fired by Houthi rebels, according to a statement released by the US military.

The tanker in question, the Panamanian-flagged Huang Pu, which operates under Chinese ownership, was targeted near Yemen by Houthi militants who have been increasingly aggressive in their strikes on Red Sea shipping, stated the US Central Command (CENTCOM) via a post on the social media platform X early Sunday.

Fortunately, despite the attack, no casualties were reported, and the vessel managed to resume its course after issuing a distress call, as indicated by CENTCOM.

The Houthis, who are backed by Iran and control significant portions of Yemen’s Red Sea coastline, have been responsible for numerous missile and drone attacks on shipping in the region over the past several months. They claim these actions are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

CENTCOM and the United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) confirmed that a fire broke out onboard the ship but was swiftly extinguished within 30 minutes.

According to tracking data from Marinetraffic, the vessel was later observed sailing out of the Red Sea into the Gulf of Aden, en route to its next destination, New Mangalore in India, as reported by maritime security agency Ambrey.

While no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, UKMTO reported that it occurred approximately 23 nautical miles west of the Yemeni port of Mokha.

CENTCOM disclosed that the Houthis launched four anti-ship ballistic missiles in the Red Sea vicinity of the Huang Pu before one eventually struck the vessel.

“The Houthis attacked the MV Huang despite previously stating they would not attack Chinese vessels,” CENTCOM noted.

Notably, Ambrey highlighted that the tanker’s registration details, including its name and operator, had been changed as recently as February 2024. Originally registered in 2019 by British firm Union Maritime Ltd, the vessel had previously been targeted by the Houthis.

The Houthi rebels have declared their intention to target ships from Israel, Britain, and the United States, as well as vessels heading to Israeli ports, thereby disrupting traffic along this crucial trade route.

In response to the attack on the Huang Pu, CENTCOM stated that US forces engaged six drones launched by the Houthis, resulting in five crashes into the Red Sea. The sixth drone, however, flew into a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen.

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