British maritime agency receives chilling call to re-route ship to Yemen

A British maritime agency has reported an alarming incident involving a ship being directed to change its route to an unspecified port in Yemen. The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, responsible for Middle East sailor warnings, initially reported a fire on an unidentified vessel near Mokha, Yemen.

The vessel in question is believed to be the Strinda, as its last known location matches the coordinates of the reported fire.

Authorities confirmed that a missile, suspected to be launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, struck the Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea, near Yemen’s coast and a crucial maritime chokepoint.

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The attack signifies an expansion of the rebels’ campaign, previously focused on ships near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, now targeting vessels with no apparent ties to Israel.

The implications include potential risks to cargo and energy shipments through the Suez Canal, amplifying the international impact of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

While the Houthis have not immediately claimed responsibility, rebel military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree hinted at an upcoming announcement.

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The US military’s Central Command confirmed that the Strinda was hit by an anti-ship cruise missile launched from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen. The USS Mason, a destroyer, is providing assistance, though no US ships were present during the attack.

Private intelligence firms Ambrey and Dryad Global corroborated the incident near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Geir Belsnes, CEO of the Strinda’s operator, J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, affirmed the attack, stating that all crew members are safe, and the vessel is heading to a secure port.

The Strinda was en route from Malaysia to the Suez Canal and then Italy with a cargo of palm oil.

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