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Houthis Mistakenly Target Tanker Carrying Russian Oil

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

January 12, 2024

© MrAVP / Adobe Stock

© MrAVP / Adobe Stock

Houthi militants mistakenly targeted a tanker carrying Russian oil in a missile attack on Friday off Yemen, British maritime security firm Ambrey said.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organisation said it had received a report of a missile being fired 90 nautical miles southeast of Yemen's port city of Aden.

"The master reported a missile landing in the water 400-500 metres away, and being followed by three small craft," the UKMTO advisory note said, adding that there were no injuries or damage.

Ambrey said: "This was the second tanker mistakenly targeted by the Houthis whilst carrying Russian oil."

Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi militants, who control much of Yemen, have launched wave after wave of exploding drones and missiles at Western commercial vessels in the Red Sea since Nov. 19, in what they say is a protest against Israel's military operations in Gaza.

The United States and Britain carried out strikes from the air and sea against Houthi military targets in Yemen overnight. Russia, an ally of Iran and a partner of key Arab powers, denounced the strikes and called for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

"A Panama-flagged tanker sighted three skiffs while transiting eastbound through the International Recommended Transit Corridor," the Ambrey report said, adding that the vessel reported a missile hitting the water.

Ambrey assessed that the vessel was mistakenly targeted based on outdated publicly available information linking the vessel to the United Kingdom.

"This appeared to be five months old but was still listed as UK-affiliated on a public maritime database," the report said.

(Reuters - Reporting by Adam Makary and Yomna Ehab; editing by Mark Heinrich and Nick Macfie)