Battle Damage Assessment: M/V Laax

A Houthi missile attack damaged the Marshall Island-flagged bulk carrier M/V Laax near Al Hudaydah, Yemen, causing damage, but no injuries. The vessel continued its voyage after receiving assistance from French naval forces.

What You Need to Know

The Incident:

On May 28, the Marshall Island-flagged, Greek-owned bulk carrier M/V Laax sustained damage from a Houthi missile attack.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) initially reported that a commercial vessel was hit by missiles and sustained damage 31 nautical miles southwest of Al Hudaydah, Yemen, at approximately 0930 UTC. The crew were reported safe, and the vessel continued to its next port of call.

The Details

Houthi Statement:

The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that M/V Laax “was directly hit and severely damaged.”

They asserted that the vessel was targeted for “violating the decision to ban entry to the ports of occupied Palestine [Israeli ports].”

They reiterated their stance that any vessel making port calls in Israel would be subject to attacks.

“The Yemeni armed forces, in the face of the continued Israeli crimes against our brothers in the Gaza Strip, will not hesitate to target all ships that deal with the Israeli entity in the declared area of operations, regardless of their destination,” the Houthis declared.

CENTCOM Statement:

The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed the attack, reporting that “between p.m. and p.m. (Sanaa time) on May 28, Iranian-backed Houthis launched five anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into the Red Sea. M/V Laax reported being struck by three of the missiles but continued its voyage. There were no injuries reported by U.S., coalition, or merchant vessels.”

French Statement:

France’s Indian Ocean Maritime Zone Command (ALINDIEN) reported that M/V Laax “suffered repeated attacks from drones and missiles which caused several leaks.”

A nearby French air defense frigate “immediately intervened to provide assistance and place the damaged vessel under its protection until the danger zone was exited, adding that “A mine clearance team from the French forces stationed in Djibouti (FFDJ), reinforced by Italian soldiers, inspected the impact zones to ensure the absence of residual dangerous materials.”

The statement concluded that “the cargo ship Laax and its crew, safe and sound, have now resumed their route according to the initially planned route.”

The Damage:

Via FFDJ_Officiel

Images released by the French military showed at least two impacts. The first impact was located on one of the vessel’s hatches, where the explosion and shrapnel were likely cushioned by the grain it was carrying. The second impact was located on the port side hull along the waterline, causing the vessel to take on water.

Conclusion

This missile attack highlights the ongoing threat posed by Houthi forces to commercial shipping in the Red Sea region. The Houthis have demonstrated their capability and willingness to continuously target vessels that have violated their declared policies, such as docking at Israeli ports. Despite persistent strike operations against the Houthis by a United States-led maritime coalition, the Houthis are still able to conduct routine attacks against commercial shipping vessels in the region.

What do you think should be the international community’s next steps to ensure the safety of commercial vessels in conflict-prone areas? How can nations balance the need for security with the challenges of maintaining open and efficient trade routes?

Atlas
Atlashttp://theatlasnews.co
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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