US Says Houthi Terrorists Fired Ballistic Missile at US Oil Tanker

US Says Houthi Terrorists Fired Ballistic Missile at US Oil Tanker
A locator map for Yemen with its capital, Sanaa. (AP Photo)

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported another attack by Houthi terrorists on a vessel in the Gulf of Aden on Feb. 24. This time, the terrorists launched an anti-ship ballistic missile at a U.S.-flagged oil tanker.

The missile, which was fired at the U.S.-owned MV Torm Thor, missed the ship and landed in the water. No damage or injuries were reported as a result of the attack, CENTCOM reported on social media platform X.

On Feb. 24, the terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack amid ongoing efforts to disrupt shipping in the Red Sea and surrounding waterways, which the group says serves as a testament to its solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Despite the Houthis claiming that the repeated attacks on shipping are only targeted at vessels linked to Israel, vessels with no clear affiliation to Israel have also been affected, including many that were distributing goods to countries in the region, including Yemen.

The U.S. military also reported that two one-way unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] were shot down in a self-defense maneuver over the southern Red Sea on Feb. 24.

“Earlier in the evening, at about 9 p.m. (Sanaa time), USCENTCOM forces shot down two one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicles over the southern Red Sea in self-defense. A third UAV crashed from an assessed in-flight failure,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

According to CENTCOM, the UAVs were determined as having presented an imminent threat to commercial and U.S. Navy vessels in the region.

“These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels,” CENTCOM said.

In addition to the Houthi attacks, which started in mid-November 2023 as an alleged protest against Israel’s offensive in Gaza, impacts in other parts of the Middle East have also been felt. Several other Iran-backed terrorist groups, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group, have exchanged gunfire with the Israeli Defense Forces along the Israel–Lebanon border.

Iraqi terrorist groups have also launched multiple attacks on military bases that host U.S. forces.

The attacks by Houthis, who control the most populous parts of Yemen, have caused noticeable disruption to shipping in the area, which in turn has driven up costs for goods and caused significant delays.

According to the BBC, more than 30 percent of British firms surveyed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) have been affected, which is starting to affect the British economy on a wider scale.

According to William Bain, BCC head of trade policy, while short-term effects can be somewhat mitigated, it’s only a matter of time before a broader impact becomes more prevalent in the UK economy. The effects are mostly felt by exporters and retailers, as well as the wholesale and manufacturing industry, as supply chain issues continue to disrupt trade.

As the rerouting of commercial vessels around the African continent commenced to avoid using the Red Sea trade route, one of the busiest shipping routes connecting Asia and the Middle East to Europe, it added up to four weeks to delivery times, effectively increasing costs to companies by more than 300 percent, the BCC said.

Reuters contributed to this article.
From NTD