Yemen’s Houthis claim fresh missile attack on British oil tanker in Red Sea

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Yemen’s Houthi group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a missile attack on Friday against what they described as a British oil tanker in the Red Sea.

   “We attacked the British oil ship, Pollux, in the Red Sea with a large number of suitable naval missiles, and the hit was accurate and direct, thanks to God,” Yahya Sarea, the Houthi military spokesperson, said in a televised statement aired by the group’s Al-Masirah TV.

   “We confirm that we will continue launching missile attacks against Israel-linked commercial vessels and Israel-bound ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden,” he said, suggesting that his group will only stop if Israel halts its aggression on the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip.

   “We will not hesitate to expand our attacks in solidarity with the Palestinian people,” the Houthi spokesperson added.

   The Friday attack was first reported by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency, saying the attack occurred in the vicinity of 70 nautical miles northwest of al-Mukha, a city south of Yemen’s Hodeidah port city.

   “The master (of the targeted vessel) reports the vessel was attacked by a missile and reports an explosion in close proximity,” the UKMTO said in a statement on social media X, formerly Twitter.

   “The military authorities are responding,” it said, referring to the U.S.-British maritime coalition tasked to protect international shipping from Houthi missile attacks.

   The UKMTO noted that the vessel and crew were safe.

   The Houthi attack came simultaneously with the United States’ designation of the Houthi group as a “global terrorist organization,” according to a statement by the White House.

   The designation, which came into force on Friday, will not affect humanitarian works in northern Yemen, according to the statement.

   The U.S.-British coalition has been struggling to deter Houthi attacks on civilian shipping vessels since November last year.

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