Houthi missiles hit bulk carrier in Red Sea: Update

  • Market: Agriculture, Crude oil, Freight
  • 29/05/24

Yemen-based Houthi militants launched five anti-ship ballistic missiles in the Red Sea on 28 May, with three striking the Greek-owned and operated bulk carrier Laax, US Central Command (Centcom) said today.

But the Marshall Islands-flagged Laax is continuing its voyage with no injuries reported. The vessel had unloaded about 60,000t of soybean meal at the Turkish port of Ceyhan on 21 May and is now ballasting to Imam Khomeini port in Iran, according to data from global trade and analytics platform Kpler.

Centcom forces have destroyed more than 10 uncrewed aerial systems over the Red Sea in the past week, after determining that they presented "an imminent threat to merchant vessels in the region". The systems were launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen. The Houthis have launched five other anti-ship ballistic missiles since 18 May when a Houthi missile hit an oil tanker.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said today that the group had carried out six military operations, three of which were in the Red Sea.

Saree referenced the Laax as one of the vessels targeted with ballistic missiles and drones, and said it had been "hit directly and greatly damaged." He also named the Morea, a Malta-flagged bulk carrier, and the Sea Lady, a Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier, as two other ships that were targeted in the Red Sea, although no mention was made of a direct hit.

He separately said the Houthis had targeted two "American" vessels ꟷ the Alba and Maersk Hartford ꟷ in the Arabian Sea, again with "missiles and drones", and also the Minerva Antonia in the Mediterranean Sea with "winged missiles." Again, there was no mention as to whether they were hit.

Oil prices are rising as the conflict in the Middle East widens. An Egyptian soldier was killed in a clash with Israeli forces at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt earlier this week. The Egyptian Armed Forces are investigating the incident, spokesperson Ghareeb Abdel Hafez said on 27 May. "A dialogue is taking place with the Egyptian side," the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.


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