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Houthis Attack Greek Ship in the Red Sea

The Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen have struck via a small unmanned surface vessel (USV) a Liberian-flagged Greek-owned and operated vessel in the Red Sea, causing flooding and damage to the engine room of the M/V Tutor, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

“M/V Tutor most recently docked in Russia. The impact of the USV caused severe flooding and damage to the engine room,” CENTCOM said in a statement, adding that the Houthis also launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen over the Red Sea. In this incident, there were no injuries or damage reported by U.S., coalition, or commercial ships.  

Regarding the attack on the Greek-operated ship M/V Tutor, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMO) said that the vessel was hit on the stern by a small craft. The master reported the ship was taking in water and was not under the command of the crew. The vessel was also hit for a second time by “an unknown airborne projectile.”

According to LSEG data cited by Reuters, the M/V Tutor loaded at the Port of Ust-Luga in Russia on May 18 and discharged at Port Said, Egypt, on June 9. The next scheduled destination for the ship was Aqaba, Jordan.

The Houthis began attacking ships in the Red Sea in November, calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and pledging to continue targeting ships in the Red Sea until Israel stopped bombing Gaza.

The attacks on the key waterway between Europe and Asia caused a massive rerouting of vessels around Africa, making journeys between Europe and Asia longer and more expensive, and messing up maritime schedules.  

The U.S. has been looking to deter the Houthis from attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea and has carried out many strikes against Houthi missiles and drones in areas in Yemen controlled by the Iran-aligned group.

At the end of May, the Houthis expanded their reach and hit six vessels in three seas, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to this, the Houthis had not managed to reach as far as the Mediterranean, which is a rather troubling development for the West.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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