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India-Bound Oil Tanker Hit by Yemen’s Houthis Missiles in Red Sea

houthis

Yemen’s Houthis claimed responsibility for a missile attack on an oil tanker traveling from Russia to India in the Red Sea on Saturday. The vessel, the Seychelles-registered Andromeda Star, sustained minor damage but continued its journey towards Vadinar port in Gujarat, India.

This incident marks the latest escalation in Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, which they claim are carried out in solidarity with Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict with Israel. The Houthis, who are backed by Iran, have accused Western and Israeli-allied nations of providing military support to Israel.

Conflicting Reports on Damage by Houthis

The extent of the damage to the Andromeda Star remains a point of contention. The Houthis’ military spokesperson, Yahya Saree, asserted a direct hit on the ship. However, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) reported only “minor damage.”

The attack on the Andromeda Star has raised concerns about the security of vital shipping lanes in the Red Sea. The crucial waterway carries a significant portion of the world’s oil supplies, and disruptions could have a major impact on global energy markets.

India’s Response

The Indian government has yet to comment on the attack. However, it is likely to raise the issue with Yemeni authorities and international bodies to ensure the safety of its commercial shipping interests.

Heightened Tensions

This incident comes amidst heightened tensions in the Middle East due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Houthis’ actions risk further destabilizing the region and disrupting crucial trade routes.

Notably, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier recently sailed out of the Red Sea via the Suez Canal after assisting a U.S.-led coalition in protecting commercial shipping.

In a separate incident, the Houthis claimed to have downed an American MQ-9 drone in Yemen’s Saada province on Friday. As tensions persist, the international community closely monitors developments in the region.

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