Missile Attack by Yemen’s Houthi Militants Sets Oil Tanker Ablaze in Gulf of Aden

A British oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden is ablaze after being targeted in a missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi militants. The incident is the latest in a series of attacks by the Iran-backed group in this crucial shipping route. The operator of the tanker, Marlin Luanda, announced that the vessel had been hit by a missile while transiting the Red Sea, causing a fire in one cargo tank on the starboard side. The Houthi militants have claimed responsibility for the attack, citing it as a response to “American-British aggression against our country [Yemen]” and in support of the Palestinian people.

The commodities group Trafigura, which operates the ship, stated that it is closely monitoring the situation and that military ships in the area are en route to provide assistance. The US Central Command confirmed that the USS Carney, a guided missile destroyer, along with other coalition ships, responded to the distress call and are currently rendering assistance. Fortunately, there have been no reported injuries thus far.

The attack on the Marlin Luanda comes amidst ongoing tensions between the US, UK, and Houthi targets in Yemen. These strikes were launched in response to the group’s attacks in the international shipping lane and were aimed at holding them accountable for their actions. The Houthi rebels have announced that they will not cease their attacks until the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is brought to an end. Meanwhile, the attacks on shipping vessels have necessitated the suspension of transit through the Gulf of Aden, forcing tankers to take longer routes around the African continent instead of using the Suez Canal.

It is believed that Iran is carefully orchestrating its response to the conflict, allowing its proxy groups to inflict damage against Israeli and American interests in the region without directly confronting Iran itself. Within Yemen, the conflict between Houthi forces and a Saudi-backed coalition has plunged the population into a dire humanitarian crisis characterized by famine, economic instability, and extreme poverty. The ongoing civil war, which began when the Houthis toppled the internationally recognized government in 2014, has escalated into a larger conflict with the intervention of a Saudi-led coalition in 2015.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, the conflict has claimed the lives of up to 377,000 people, with more than half of the deaths attributed to indirect causes related to the conflict’s impact on access to basic necessities such as food, water, and healthcare.

As the situation continues to unfold, updates regarding the tanker attack and its repercussions are expected.