Houthi attacks on Red Sea and Gulf of Aden ships continue

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Yemen’s Houthis claim to have made further attacks on ships with ties to Israel, the UK and USA in recent days.

Some of these ‘ties’ are more historical than actual.

On Saturday 27 April the Houthis said they had stuck the Panama-flagged, but former UK-owned crude oil tanker Andromeda Star (IMO 9402471), which was sailing in the Red Sea on Friday.

The 155 605-dwt Andromeda Star changed hands in November last year and is currently nominally owned by a Seychelles-registered company Algae Marine Inc, but is thought to be Indian-owned.

Andromeda Star is sailing from the Russian port of Primorsk, to Vadinar in India, loaded with Russian oil.

The extent of the damage to the tanker is not clear but the claim by the Houthis was confirmed by the US military’s Central Command (Centcom), which said three missiles had been launched into the Red Sea, with minor damage reported on the tanker.

Centcom said a missile had landed in the sea near a second vessel, the 159 453-dwt Maisha (IMO 9232929), which was not damaged. Maisha has continued her journey northward into the Red Sea in the direction of the Suez Canal. The ship, which changed hands in February this year, is nominally owned by Seaserenity Shipping Ltd which office is registered with the ship in Antigua & Barbuda.

The word Maisha is of Swahili origin, meaning Life, or vitality.

On Thursday 25 April the Houthis are reported to have fired on the MSC Darwin, sailing between the port of Aden and Djibouti. It doesn’t appear that the container ship was hit by any missile or drone.

These attacks come in defiance of US and UK aerial raids into Houthi-controlled Yemen to attack sites where drone and missile attacks on shipping are thought to be launched.

According to the Houthis late last week they shot down an American MQ-9 drone flying over Yemen’s Saada province, and shared imagery of the crashed aircraft.

The Houthis also claimed to have launched a rocket attack aimed at the Israeli port city of Eilat. There are no reports from Israel of these attacks having been successful.

Meanwhile it being reported that two thirds of traffic crossing through the Red Sea and Suez Canal has been lost since the Houthi movement began their campaign against ships with an Israeli, American of British ownership.

Written by Africa Ports & Ships and republished with permission. The original article can be found here.