US attacks Yemen after Houthis military operation against UK vessel

The United States has launched air strikes against Yemen, hours after a British oil tanker was targeted with a missile and set alight in the Gulf of Aden while transiting the Red Sea.

The US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) said it had carried out a strike early Saturday morning on a Yemeni “anti-ship missile aimed into the Red Sea and which was prepared to launch.”

“Forces subsequently struck and destroyed the missile,” it added in a statement published on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

On Friday evening, an oil tanker operated on behalf of the commodities group Trafigura was struck in the Red Sea by a missile, a company spokesperson announced in a statement.

Yemen’s armed forces have declared US and British ships as legitimate targets after the two countries launched strikes at different locations across the Arab nation in support of Israel. Yemen has been targeting Israeli vessels in solidarity with the Palestinians in order to force Tel Aviv to stop its destructive war on Gaza.

The Marlin Luanda, a petroleum products tanker vessel, was struck by the missile in the Gulf of Aden. Firefighting equipment on board is being used to suppress a fire in one of the cargo tanks, the spokesperson said.

“We remain in contact with the vessel and are monitoring the situation carefully,” Trafigura, which has offices in Britain, said, adding, “Military ships in the region are underway to provide assistance.”

Trafigura announced the vessel is flagged under the Marshall Islands.

Yemeni Armed Forces later claimed responsibility for the attack, describing the vessel as a “British oil ship”.

Yemeni troops used a “number of appropriate naval missiles. The strike was direct and resulted in the burning of the vessel”, the Yemeni military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a statement.

Earlier on Friday, Yemeni naval forces fired an anti-ship ballistic missile from Yemen towards the USS Carney destroyer in the Gulf of Aden, CENTCOM said.

Yemenis have declared their open support for Palestine’s struggle against the Israeli occupation since the regime launched a devastating war on Gaza on October 7 after the territory’s Palestinian resistance movements carried out a surprise retaliatory attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the occupying entity.

The United States and United Kingdom have been carrying out strikes against Yemen after the Biden administration and its allies offered the Tel Aviv regime unqualified support, and said that Yemeni forces bear the consequences of their attacks against Israeli-owned ships or merchant vessels heading to the occupied territories.

Yemeni Armed Forces have announced that they won’t stop their attacks until unrelenting Israeli ground and aerial offensives in Gaza, which have killed at least 26,083 people and wounded another 64,487 individuals, come to an end.

Leader of the Houthi movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, has stressed that it is “a great honor and blessing to be confronting America directly.”

The attacks have forced some of the world’s biggest shipping and oil companies to suspend transit through one of the world’s most important maritime trade routes.

Tankers are instead adding thousands of miles to international shipping routes by sailing around the continent of Africa rather than going through the Suez Canal.

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