Israel-linked tanker seized off Yemen by unidentified armed attackers
- This is the latest in a series of attacks on the same shipping route and comes
a week after Houthis seized an Israel-linked cargo ship in the southern Red Sea
- Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have launched a series of drone and missile strikes
targeting Israel since October
Nov 26, 2023
A tanker linked to an Israel-affiliated company was seized off the coast of Yemen
on Sunday by unidentified armed individuals, a US defence official confirmed, following
a series of incidents on the same shipping route.
“There are indications that an unknown number of unidentified armed individuals seized
the MV Central Park in the Gulf of Aden November 26. US and coalition forces are
in the vicinity and we are closely monitoring the situation,” the official said.
Maritime security firm Ambrey said “US naval forces are engaged in the situation”
after the incident involving the Central Park vessel, owned and managed by a UK-based,
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels had previously threatened to attack the tanker
if it did not divert to the port of Hodeida, it said.
Communications from a US coalition warship had been intercepted warning the Central
Park to disregard the messages, Ambrey added.
The boarding took place offshore from the Yemeni port city of Aden, with another
vessel in the area reporting “an approach by eight persons on two skiffs wearing
military uniforms”, Ambrey said.
It comes after a US defence official said an Israeli-owned cargo ship was damaged
in a suspected Iranian drone attack in the Indian Ocean on Friday, and a week after
Houthis seized an Israel-linked cargo ship in the southern Red Sea.
The Houthis, declaring themselves part of the “axis of resistance” of Iran-affiliated
groups, have launched a series of drone and missile strikes targeting Israel since
October, following an unprecedented attack by Hamas militants on Israel.
Israel has vowed to “crush” Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, after the Palestinian
militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took around 240 hostages
on October 7, according to Israeli authorities.
Gaza’s Hamas government says nearly 15,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed
in Israeli aerial bombardment and ground operations in the Palestinian territory