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Houthi Rebels Claim Red Sea Tanker Attack: Escalating Tensions and Global Impact

Houthi Rebels Claim Red Sea Tanker Attack: Escalating Tensions and Global Impact

Houthi Rebels Claim Red Sea Tanker Attack: Escalating Tensions and Global Impact

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran, claimed responsibility for attacking an oil tanker in the Red Sea on February 17. This is part of a series of attacks that have caused tensions with Britain and the United States. These attacks have also disrupted global trade through this important waterway.

The Houthi spokesman, Yahya Saree, stated that their naval forces targeted the British oil tanker Pollux with missiles. However, it’s unclear how they determined the ship’s connection to Britain. According to a Greek shipping database, the tanker is operated by Sea Trade Marine S.A. based in Athens.

The US State Department confirmed that a missile fired from Yemen hit the Indian-bound MT Pollux, which carries crude oil. Remarkably, this attack coincided with the US decision to label the Houthis as a “terrorist” group.

Despite sustaining minor damage, the tanker was able to continue its journey. Security firm Ambrey reported the incident, stating that the missile struck the ship northwest of Yemen’s Mokha port.

On the same day, the US military targeted three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. These missiles were ready to launch against ships in the Red Sea. Despite repeated strikes by the US and Britain on Houthi targets, the rebel attacks persist. They particularly target vessels they perceive to be associated with Israel during conflicts like the one with Hamas militants in Gaza. The rebels claim to act in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Since 2014, the Houthis have been at war with Yemen’s internationally recognized government, controlling the capital, Sanaa, and significant parts of the country’s northwest.

In response to these escalating attacks, European Union foreign ministers plan to launch a naval mission during their meeting in Brussels on Monday. This mission aims to protect international shipping in the Red Sea from further Houthi attacks.

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