Chinese Tanker is Target of Houthi Missile Attack

AI generated image of missiles attacking a tanker
Updated Published

Dispelling recent speculations that Chinese and Russian vessels would be allowed safe transit through the Red Sea by the Houthis, a missile attack targeted a Chinese tanker off Yemen on Saturday.

The tanker, Huang Pu, constructed in 2009 and classified as an aframax, was struck by a total of five missiles while transporting Russian crude oil to India. The attack caused minimal damage to the vessel, and a fire that broke out was put out within 30 minutes. There were no injuries reported, and the vessel has resumed its journey to India.

Contrary to last week's Bloomberg report suggesting the Houthis had agreed not to attack Chinese and Russian ships – based on unnamed sources and following discussions between Chinese and Russian diplomats with a key Houthi representative, Mohammed Abdel Salam, in Oman – this incident underscores the ongoing risks in the region.

The Houthis have launched attacks on ships associated with Israel, the US, and the UK, aligning themselves with Hamas amidst the ongoing conflict with Israel. These attacks have often missed their intended targets due to reliance on outdated or incorrect shipping databases, inadvertently targeting vessels without any links to the mentioned countries.

To date, around 70 merchant vessels have been attacked, prompting a significant detour of the global merchant fleet to navigate around the African continent, thereby maintaining trade flows between Asia and Europe.