ER Editor: UPDATE —
Some tweets —#Strinda
RED SEA – The moment of targeting the Israeli ship with Norwegian flag STRINDA by Yemen ..that was heading to Israel. pic.twitter.com/6J7QXOlMYK
— Mister J. – مسٹر جے (@Angryman_J) December 12, 2023
Yahya Sari, representative of the Yemeni armed forces:
🔹️ The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces conducted an operation against the Norwegian ship STRINDA
🔹️ Over the past two days, the Yemeni Armed Forces have managed to prevent the passage of several ships that… pic.twitter.com/49MrwcGLQy
— Sprinter (@Sprinter00001) December 12, 2023
This time there is no doubt at all about the French involvement:#France said its has intercepted a drone directed toward the Norwegian ship “Strinda”, launched by Ansar Allah Houthis.
This is why Ansar Allah used a cruise missile to reach its objective.
— Elijah J. Magnier 🇪🇺 (@ejmalrai) December 12, 2023
The #Norwegian tanker “Strinda” is ablaze in the Red Sea after being struck by an anti-ship missile launched by the Shiite Ansar Allah movement (Houthis).
Initial reports suggest that the crew members have not sustained injuries; however, efforts to extinguish the ensuing fire… pic.twitter.com/SRzSnGMEFw
— Jack Straw (@JackStr42679640) December 13, 2023
Israeli media: The Norwegian ship “Strinda”, which was hit by a Houthi missile off the coast of Yemen, was supposed to enter Ashdod port on January 4. pic.twitter.com/5Y1bFzukJY
— Sprinter (@Sprinter00001) December 12, 2023
Houthi Rebels Hit Norwegian-Flagged Tanker With Anti-Ship Cruise Missile At Key Maritime Chokepoint
An anti-ship cruise missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels struck a Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea near a key maritime chokepoint known as the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, where nearly 10% of all crude traded at sea passes through.
Reuters quoted Houthi military spokesperson Yehia Sarea, who said the tanker – named “Strinda” – was targeted because it was headed to an Israeli terminal, and the crew ignored all warnings.
However, Strinda’s owner, Norway’s Mowinckel Chemical Tankers, said the vessel was bound for the Suez Canal and then on to Italy with a cargo containing vegetable oil and biofuels.
A US official told Reuters that the attack occurred about 60 nautical miles north of Bab al-Mandab Strait, connecting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden around 2100 GMT. After the attack, another official said the tanker could move under its own power.
According to the US military’s Central Command, which supervises US forces in the Middle East, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Mason received a distress call from Strinda and was able to respond:
“There were no US ships in the vicinity at the time of the attack, but the (US Navy destroyer) USS MASON responded to the M/T STRINDA’s mayday call and is currently rendering assistance.”
CENTCOM Statement on missile attack in the Bab-el-Mandeb
At around 4 p.m. EST on December 11, the Motor Tanker STRINDA was attacked by what is assessed to have been an Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM) launched from a Houthi controlled area of Yemen while passing through the… pic.twitter.com/OJDoubAU2D
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) December 12, 2023
The Iran-backed militant group (ER: note that we are seeing a representative of the Yemeni military speak on behalf of this action, called here an ‘Iran-backed militant group’) has carried out a series of attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea (read: here & here). They are specifically targeting any vessel they believe is going to or coming from Israel.
Bloomberg cited sources who said the US and Gulf allies have been discussing potential military action against the militant group for the latest spate of attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
As for energy markets, Brent crude futures briefly traded above $76 a barrel after Central Command posted on X about the incident on Monday night. Yet Brent gave up all gains and slid back to the $75 handle early Tuesday. Global crude markets are gripped with oversupply fears.
The one maritime route where large amounts of energy, commodities, and manufactured goods pass through to Egypt’s Suez Canal has become the world’s riskiest waters. It remains to be seen if vessels divert from the route and add thousands of miles by sailing around Africa.
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