“AThe naval units of the Yemeni armed forces attacked a Norwegian oil tanker, the Strinda, which was transporting fuel to Israel,” said Huthi military spokesman Yahya Saree.
The missile hit the Norwegian-flagged ship in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which separates the Arabian Peninsula from Africa, according to the US military.
A fire broke out on board and the US destroyer USS Mason came to the ship’s aid, according to the US military command for the Middle East (Centcom).
Before this information was released, the Huthis’ military spokesman had indicated on the social network X (formerly Twitter) that he would make an important announcement in the “next few hours”.
On Saturday, Huthi rebels threatened to attack any ship in the Red Sea bound for Israel if the population of the Gaza Strip did not receive emergency aid.
All “ships linked to Israel or transporting goods” to Israel are not welcome in the Red Sea, a strategic area located between northeast Africa and the Arabian peninsula, they warned in a statement.
In the hours that followed, the French frigate Languedoc, deployed in the Red Sea on a maritime security mission, shot down two drones “which were heading directly” for the vessel, the General Staff said.
The French frigate fired anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down the drones, according to a military source. The firing of surface-to-air missiles in self-defense is a first for the French navy.
Following this incident in the Red Sea, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for “any regional conflict to be avoided”.
It is also the first time that a French military ship has been targeted by the Huthis since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, triggered by an attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on Israeli soil, on October 7th.
Hamas, a member of the so-called “axis of resistance” against Israel, along with Lebanese Hezbollah and the Huthis, welcomed the “courageous and bold” decision by the Yemeni rebels.
Read Also: Huthi missile hits Norwegian ship off Yemen without causing casualties
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