Another cargo ship hit by missile off Yemen: Maritime sources

AFP , Tuesday 16 Jan 2024

A Greek-owned cargo ship was hit by a missile off Yemen, a maritime risk management company said on Tuesday, following a string of attacks in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthi rebels, in response to Israel's months-long war on Gaza.

Dry bulk carrier Zografia was hit by a missile in the Red Sea area, sustaining minor damage, according to Reuters. Photo of Zografia circulated on X (formerly Twitter)


"A Malta-flagged, Greek-owned bulk carrier was reportedly targeted and impacted with a missile while transiting the southern Red Sea northbound," Ambrey said in an alert.

The ship, which has visited Israel since the outbreak of the Israeli war on Gaza and was headed to Suez, changed course and headed to port after the incident, Ambrey said.

On Sunday, US forces shot down a Houthi cruise missile targeting an American destroyer, and on Monday a US-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman was hit by another rebel missile.

The missile launches followed Friday's US and UK strikes on scores of sites in rebel-held Yemen for the Red Sea attacks which have disrupted shipping in the vital waterway.

The Houthis have been targeting Israeli-linked vessels to pressure Israel to halt its war on the Palestinians and allow unfettered aid access for Gaza, but after Friday's strikes, they declared US and British interests "legitimate targets".

United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a maritime security agency run by the British navy, also reported an "incident" in an area northwest of Saleef in Yemen, without giving further details.

Earlier, Qatar's prime minister said liquefied natural gas shipments would be affected by tensions in the Red Sea, and warned that strikes on Yemen risk aggravating the crisis.

"LNG is... as any other merchant shipments. They will be affected by that," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told the World Economic Forum in Davos, referring to the exchanges with the Houthis.

"There are alternative routes, those alternative routes are not more efficient, they're less efficient than the current route," he added.

Rather than use the key route between Asia and European markets, the Suez Canal, which normally carries about 12 percent of global maritime trade, some shipping companies are now taking a major detour around southern Africa.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that at least five LNG vessels operated by Qatar had stopped en route to the Red Sea.

"(Military intervention) will not bring an end for this, will not contain it. So the contrary, I think will create... a further escalation," Sheikh Mohammed said, referring to the tensions in the Red Sea.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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