Tanker hit by Houthi missile en route to Israel's Ashdod Port

Norwegian vessel scheduled to dock in southern Israeli port on January 4, according to port's website; attack caused a fire and damage on board but 22 crewmembers unharmed

The Norwegian commercial tanker STRINDA, which was attacked by a Houthi cruise missile on Tuesday, was headed for the Port of Ashdod in southern Israel and was scheduled to dock there on January 4, according to the port's website.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
More stories:
"The risk to shipping routes posed by the Houthis represents a strategic threat to global maritime lanes in general, and to Israel's maritime traffic in particular, with far-reaching political and economic impacts,” read a statement from the port’s administration.
3 View gallery
(Photo: X)
“The Houthi threat does not directly affect port operations. We emphasize that we are doing everything possible to operate fully and maintain an open gateway to Israel, despite the challenges of war. We are prepared and operating normally to handle all required operational activities of loading and unloading."
The Iran-aligned group's military spokesperson Yahya Sare'e said in a televised statement said they carried out a military operation against the vessel in its latest operation to protest against Israel's bombardment of Gaza, targeting the tanker with a rocket after the crew refused to respond to all warnings.
He vowed that the Houthis would continue blocking ships heading to Israeli ports until Israel allows the entry of food and medical aid into the Gaza Strip - more than 1,000 miles from the Houthi seat of power in Sana'a.
The attack on the tanker STRINDA took place about 60 nautical miles (111km) north of the Bab al-Mandab Strait connecting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at about 2100 GMT, a U.S. official told Reuters. A second U.S. official said the STRINDA was able to move under its own power in the hours after the attack.
"There were no U.S. ships in the vicinity at the time of the attack, but the (U.S. Navy destroyer) USS MASON responded to the M/T STRINDA's mayday call and is currently rendering assistance," the U.S. military's Central Command, which oversees American forces in the Middle East, said in a statement posted on social media platform X.
3 View gallery
הכוחות החות'ים בתימן מודיעים כי שיגרו מטח של טילים בליסטים לעבר מטרות שונות בישראל
הכוחות החות'ים בתימן מודיעים כי שיגרו מטח של טילים בליסטים לעבר מטרות שונות בישראל
Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sare'e
The attack caused a fire and damage but no casualties, the U.S. military said in a statement.
The French defense ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that its frigate FREMM Languedoc intercepted and destroyed a drone that was threatening the Norwegian oil tanker in a complex aerial attack originating from Yemen.
It said the attack had taken place in the evening of Monday, Dec. 11 and had caused a fire on board the tanker, which was sailing under the Norwegian flag.
The Houthi spokesman said that the group had managed to obstruct the passage of several ships in recent days, acting in support of the Palestinians
The Houthis have waded into the Israel-Hamas conflict - which has spread around the Middle East since Oct. 7 - attacking vessels in vital shipping lanes and firing drones and missiles at Israel itself.
On Saturday, the Houthis said they would target all ships heading to Israel, regardless of their nationality, and warned international shipping companies against dealing with Israeli ports. The Norway-flagged chemical tanker's Norwegian owner Mowinckel Chemical Tankers said that the vessel was headed for a safe port and that its crew of 22 from India were all unhurt. The vessel's manager Hansa Tankers could not be immediately reached for comment outside office hours.
3 View gallery
הכוחות החות'ים בתימן מפרסמים תיעוד של ירי הטילים לעבר ישראל
הכוחות החות'ים בתימן מפרסמים תיעוד של ירי הטילים לעבר ישראל
Houthi fire missiles at Israel
The STRINDA had loaded vegetable oil and biofuels in Malaysia and was headed for Venice, Italy, data from shiptracking firm Kpler showed. It was not immediately clear whether the STRINDA had any ties to Israel.
The Houthis are one of several groups in the Iran-aligned "Axis of Resistance" that have been taking aim at Israeli and U.S. targets since their Palestinian ally Hamas attacked Israel.
During the first week of December, three commercial vessels came under attack in international waters, prompting a U.S. Navy destroyer to intervene.
The United States and Britain have condemned the attacks on shipping, blaming Iran for its role in supporting the Houthis. Tehran says its allies make their decisions independently.
Reuters contributed to this report.
First published: 11:46, 12.12.23
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.