Crew puts out fire on oil tanker hit by Houthi

Crew puts out fire on oil tanker hit by Houthi missile Euronews

The article was originally published in English

The incident came after US forces attacked rebel positions in a new airstrike.


The crew of a Marshall Islandsflagged tanker put out a fire on Saturday caused by a missile fired by Houthi rebels, authorities said.

The attack on Marlin Luanda further deepened the Red Sea crisis caused by attacks by Iranianbacked rebels on Israel's war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The tanker was carrying Russianmade naphtha, deepening Moscow's involvement in a conflict it had previously blamed on the United States.

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In the early hours of Saturday, U.S. forces carried out an attack on a Houthi antiship missile that was aimed at the Red Sea and prepared for launch, U.S. Forces Central Command said. The attack came after the USS Carney, an Arleigh Burkeclass destroyer, was forced to fire a Houthi missile aimed at it.

The Marlin Luanda burned for hours in the Gulf of Aden until it was extinguished on Saturday, said Trafigura, a Singaporebased trading company. Its crew, consisting of 25 Indians and two Sri Lankans, were still trying to fight the fire caused by the rocket attack. No one was injured in the explosion, he added.

The Indian Navy said its guidedmissile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam was helping the crew of the Marlin Luanda fight the fire. The Navy released images showing that the fire was still raging on Saturday probably fueled by the naphtha on board.

The ship, managed by a British company, was carrying Russian naphtha bound for Singapore, according to the company. The company described that the flammable oil was purchased below the price limits set by the G7 sanctions against Russia due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. It was not clear what impact the attack had on the environment.

Houthi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree claimed in a prerecorded statement on Friday that it was an attack on the Marlin Luanda, describing it as a “British oil ship”. He insisted such attacks would continue.

Since November, rebels have repeatedly attacked ships in the Red Sea due to Israel's Gaza offensive against Hamas. But they have often targeted ships with weak or nonexistent connections to Israel, endangering shipping on a key route for global trade between Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Since the start of the airstrikes campaign, the rebels now say they will also attack American and British ships.

China, which relies on maritime trade in the region, called for calm. The US has tried to pressure China to put pressure on Iran, as Beijing remains one of the main buyers of Iranian oil sanctioned by the West.

However, Russia has so far condemned the US and Britain for their attacks on the Houthis and has also met with the rebel group in Moscow in recent days.

Meanwhile, authorities reported another incident on Saturday in which a ship in the Arabian Sea reported seeing men with assault rifles and a rocketpropelled grenade on a boat passing nearby. All people on board were considered safe.

Private security firm Ambrey described the incident as a small “Somalistyle” boat being supported by a larger mother ship. As Houthi attacks escalated, suspicions of Somali pirate activity also increased.