A cargo ship owned by Greece and flying the flag of Malta was reportedly struck by a rocket as it approached the Yemeni coast. This incident occurred in the Red Sea, where Iran-backed Houthi militants have significantly increased their attempts to attack civilian vessels.
Tuesday, U.K. Maritime Trade Operations headquarters verified receiving reports of a possible attack approximately 100 nautical miles from the Gulf state. A Greek vessel is struck by a missile as the Houthis intensify their assaults in the Red Sea.
Since then, British maritime security firm Ambrey has stated that a missile strike caused the incident, and the ship has been provisionally identified as the Zografia, which was not transporting any cargo at the time and was traveling from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean.
There were no reported injuries among the twenty-four crew members.
The apparent assault occurred less than a day after an anti-ship ballistic missile struck the Gibraltar Eagle, a dry bulk carrier owned by the United States and traversing Yemeni waters. Despite sustaining cargo bay damage, the vessel has resumed its journey away from the region afflicted by the crisis. Soon after, the Houthis asserted accountability for the incident.
On Friday, precision strikes were initiated by U.S. and British forces against Houthi weapons depots and drone launch locations. Despite this, the Houthi movement, which Iran backs, has pledged to continue its assaults in the busy shipping lanes. Although it claims that these attacks are a direct response to the Israel-Hamas conflict, dozens of vessels with no ties to Israel have been targeted.
Ami Daniel, co-founder of the Tel-Aviv-based maritime firm Windward, predicts that Western shipping will progressively avoid the Red Sea as the crisis continues.
“In light of the severe hazards, exorbitant insurance premiums, and worsening circumstances, it would be prudent to contemplate alternative trade routes, albeit at the expense of prolonged delivery periods and potentially minor disruptions to the supply chain,” he advised.