Houthi Missile Strike On Oil Tanker Escalates Red Sea Tensions

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  • Iran-backed Houthi forces launched a missile attack on the Panamanian-flagged oil tanker ship in the Red Sea, causing significant damage and escalating regional tensions.
  • The attack underscores the volatile geopolitical landscape and its impact on global oil markets.

In a dramatic escalation of hostilities in the Red Sea, Iran-backed Houthi forces targeted a Greek-owned, Panamanian-flagged oil tanker with an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). This attack not only highlights the persistent threat posed by regional conflicts to international shipping but also raises concerns about the stability of global oil supplies.

Missile Attack on ship

On May 18, the ship, an oil tanker flagged by Panama and owned by a Greek company, was struck by a missile launched by Houthi forces from Yemen. The missile impact caused severe flooding, leading to the loss of propulsion and steering capabilities for the vessel. The tanker was en route from Russia to China at the time of the attack.

CENTCOM’s Report

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed the attack and detailed the extent of the damage. According to CENTCOM, the anti-ship ballistic missile hit the tanker, resulting in significant operational disruptions. The incident underscores the persistent threats to maritime security in the region.

Houthi Claim of Responsibility

Yahya Sare’e, a spokesperson for the Houthi militants, claimed responsibility for the attack on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter). The Houthis have increasingly used ASBMs and drones to target commercial vessels in the Red Sea, aiming to disrupt maritime traffic and exert pressure on their adversaries.

Geopolitical and Economic Impact

This latest attack has further heightened geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea region. The assault on the ship has contributed to rising concerns over the safety of oil shipments through this critical waterway. Following the attack, Brent futures saw an increase, reflecting market anxieties over potential disruptions to global oil supplies.

The missile strike on the ship by Houthi forces highlights the ongoing volatility in the Red Sea and the broader Middle East. As regional conflicts continue to pose significant risks to international shipping and global energy markets, the need for enhanced maritime security measures remains urgent.

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Source: Engine Online