Iran Regime-Backed Houthis Hit Tanker off Yemen, CENTCOM Says

 – Iran-backed Houthi militants on Saturday hit a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker off Yemen’s Red Sea coast with an anti-ship missile but the crew was able to restore power and maintain course, the U.S. military said.

There were no casualties reported by the ship, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement posted on the X social media platform.

The strike was the latest in months of attacks on ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden by the Houthis, who seized control of most of Yemen’s major population centers in a civil war, in opposition to Israel’s war in Gaza.

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The Houthis launched a single anti-ship missile at the M/T Wind, a Panamanian-flagged and Greek-owned oil tanker, at around 1 a.m. local time, causing flooding that knocked out its propulsion and steering, CENTCOM said.

A vessel of a U.S.-led maritime coalition immediately responded, but the crew was able to restore power and steering, no assistance was required and the ship “resumed its course under its own power,” it said.

“This continued malign and reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Houthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden,” CENTCOM said.

British security firm Ambrey said the attack occurred about 10 nautical miles southwest of Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Mokha, and that the missile caused a fire in the steering gear compartment.

The vessel had loaded oil at the Sheskharis terminal in Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk and was bound for China, Ambrey said in an advisory note.

Separately, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said earlier on Saturday that a vessel in the Red Sea was struck by an unknown object and sustained slight damage.

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“The vessel and crew are safe and continuing to its next port of call,” UKMTO said in an advisory note on the incident 98 nautical miles south of Yemen’s Hodeidah port.

Months of Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around Southern Africa.

The United States and Britain have carried out strikes against Houthi targets in response.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay, Muhammad Al Gebaly, Enas Alashray and Jaidaa Taha; Editing by Louise Heavens, Andrew Cawthorne and Deepa Babington)