Houthis Attack Norwegian Commercial Tanker in Red Sea, French and American Warships Respond

Houthis Attack Norwegian Commercial Tanker in Red Sea, French and American Warships Respond


What to Know:

Iran-back Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for a missile strike against a Norwegian commercial tanker in the Red Sea, continuing its string of attacks in the region as tensions rise with international military forces.

Likewise, the French military reported that one of its naval vessels intercepted a drone heading in its direction as it responded to the attack, similar to incidents earlier this month involving the USS Carney.

The Attack:

Last night, the United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) issued an alert about an attack on a commercial vessel in waters of the Red Sea near the Bab El Mandeb Strait. A shipboard fire was reported, however, all crew were reported safe. At around the same time, the Houthis announced that they were to make an “important statement.”

Houthi Response:

In a statement, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree confirmed that “The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces carried out a qualitative military operation against the Norwegian ship “Astrinda”, which was loaded with oil and headed to the Israeli entity. It was targeted with a suitable naval missile.”

“Over the past two days, the Yemeni armed forces succeeded in preventing the passage of several ships. They responded to the warnings of the Yemeni naval forces and did not resort to targeting the Norwegian ship loaded with oil until its crew rejected all warning calls. The Yemeni armed forces will not hesitate to target any ship that violates what was stated in the previous statements.*”

*Note: Houthi forces have previously warned that any vessel linked to Israel is considered a military target, whether that be its owner, operator, or port of call.

“The Yemeni armed forces confirm that they continue to prevent all ships of all nationalities heading to Israeli ports from navigating in the Arab and Red Seas until they bring in the food and medicine that our steadfast brothers in the Gaza Strip need,” the statement concluded.

US Response:

In response to the attack, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) released a statement reading that “At around 4 p.m. EST on December 11, the Motor Tanker STRINDA was attacked by what is assessed to have been an Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM) launched from a Houthi controlled area of Yemen while passing through the Bab-el-Mandeb.”

“The STRINDA reported damage causing a fire on-board, but no casualties at this time. There were no US ships in the vicinity at the time of the attack, but the USS MASON responded to the M/T STRINDA’s mayday call and is currently rendering assistance,” the statement added.

French Response:

Likewise, the General Staff of the French Armed Forces released a statement reporting that “On the evening of Monday December 11, the oil tanker Strinda (Norwegian flag) was the victim of an attack complex air strike from Yemen causing a fire on board. The [Aquitaine-class frigate] FREMM Languedoc which was patrolling the area intercepted and destroyed a drone directly threatening the Strinda.”

“The FREMM then placed itself in protection of the affected building, preventing the attempt to hijacking of the ship. The fire on board the Strinda was brought under control. No injuries were reported.”

The statement concluded that “The USS Mason then escorted the Strinda towards the Gulf of Aden outside the threat zone. FREMM Languedoc has resumed its patrol towards the North. FREMM Languedoc has been involved in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Red Sea since December 8 in order to contribute to maritime security and the freedom of navigation of ships (around 20,000 commercial vessels transit through this area each year).”

Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.
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