In the latest development of escalating tensions in the Red Sea, Houthi rebels from Yemen have claimed responsibility for an attack on a US ship, the Chem Ranger. The rebels asserted that their “naval” forces targeted the vessel with several naval missiles, resulting in direct hits. However, the United States military contradicted these claims, stating that the missiles had missed their mark.
The incident occurred as part of the ongoing conflict between Houthi rebels and the US over aggressions toward vessels in and around the Red Sea. The US Central Command reported that on Thursday night, the rebels launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at the Marshall Island-flagged, US-owned, Greek-operated tanker.
Fortunately, the crew aboard the Chem Ranger reported no injuries or damage to the ship, as the missiles impacted the water near the vessel. This marks the latest in a series of attacks on international shipping lanes by Houthi rebels, prompting retaliatory strikes by US and British forces in Yemen.
The Chem Ranger, a chemical tanker sailing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Kuwait, found itself at the center of the conflict. Reports from maritime organizations, including Marine Traffic and Ambrey, detailed the incident southeast of the Yemeni port of Aden. An Indian warship responded to the event, ensuring the safety of the vessel and its crew, according to Ambrey.
Despite counterstrikes by the US against Houthi targets, the rebels continue their aggression, citing reasons such as opposition to the oppression of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and responding to perceived American-British aggression against Yemen.
As the conflict intensifies, major shipping firms have rerouted their vessels away from the Red Sea, impacting maritime traffic in the region. The international community remains divided on the appropriate response, with Russia urging the US to cease its strikes, emphasizing the need for a diplomatic resolution to the attacks on merchant vessels. In contrast, Denmark has announced its support for the coalition behind the air strikes against the Houthi rebels, joining the efforts to address the growing security concerns in the Red Sea.
The situation continues to evolve, with the global community closely monitoring developments in the region amid concerns about the safety of maritime activities and the potential for further escalation.