Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched a cruise missile at a Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea, in the latest violent attack by the Iran-backed militants targeting commercial vessels in the area.
The militant group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Strinda, with its spokesperson Yahya Sare’e claiming without any evidence that the tanker was “loaded with oil and headed to the Israeli entity,” according to the Associated Press and a social media account purporting to belong to Sare’e.
J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, which owns the Strinda, said the tanker was loaded with palm oil and en route from Malaysia to the Suez Canal and then on to Italy when it was attacked 60 nautical miles north of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK reported.
Houthi rebels have ramped up hostile actions against American and international vessels in the region, attacking several commercial ships and launching missiles and drones targeting Israel, in response to the Israel-Hamas war. Earlier this month, the group warned it would target all ships heading to Israel.
The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said the Strinda was struck by a cruise missile launched from a Houthi-controlled region in Yemen on Monday afternoon.
“The STRINDA reported damage causing a fire on-board, but no casualties at this time,” CENTCOM wrote on X. “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.”