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Houthis claim US-owned tanker hit as two drone incidents reported following US strikes on missile sites

UKMTO reports two incidents on Thursday as Houthis claim to hit US-owned Chem Ranger

The Houthis claim to have hit a US-owned ship on Thursday, while UKMTO reports of two drone incidents in the hours following a US strike on Houthi targets. No injuries were reported

THE Houthis claim to have hit a US-owned, Marshall Islands-flagged chemical tanker amid two reports of drone-related incidents and following a US attack on Houthi targets earlier Thursday.

A Houthi spokesperson said on X, formerly twitter, that the 26,198 dwt Chem Ranger (IMO: 9490296) was hit with “several appropriate naval missiles, resulting in direct hits”.

US Central Command (Centcom) said the two anti-ship ballistic missiles were launched at the ship around 2100 hrs local time but the crew observed them landing in waters near it.

“There were no reported injuries or damage to the ship,” Centcom said on X. “The ship has continued underway.”

The tanker is managed by Connecticut-based Sokana, a joint venture with the Interunity Group of Companies. Its last Automatic Identification System signal was broadcast on January 16 west of Almuzaylif, Saudi Arabia.

Sokana has been approached for comment.

According to the UKMTO, a master reported four drones flying near their vessel around 2133 hrs and about 85 nautical miles southeast of Ash Shihr, Yemen, with one drone hitting the water about 800 metres from it.

“Vessel and crew are safe and proceeding to the next port of call,” the agency said.

Citing Ambrey, Reuters reported the vessel was a US-owned and Marshall Islands-flagged bulker which was recently involved in a separate incident.

While two US-owned and Marshall Islands-flagged bulkers were attacked this week — the Eagle Bulk Shipping-owned Gibraltar Eagle (IMO: 9702508) on Monday and the Genco Shipping-owned Genco Picardy (IMO: 9301720) on Wednesday — the Eagle is currently off Oman, while the Picardy’s AIS has been off since January 14, suggesting it was the latter that was involved in the quadruple drone incident.

Genco has been approached for comment.

In a second incident about 115 nautical miles off Aden, a master reported that a drone exploded about 30 metres of their ship’s port side, UKMTO said.

“Coalition forces are responding, vessel and crew are safe, vessel proceeding to next port of call,” the agency said.

US Central Command said its strikes Thursday targeted two anti-ship missiles that were ready to be launched.

“US forces identified the missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen at approximately 1540 hrs (Sanaa time) and determined they were an imminent threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region,” Centcom said on X, formerly twitter.

“US forces subsequently struck and destroyed the missiles in self-defence.”


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