Oil slick after attack in the Red Sea: USA warns of environmental disaster

As of: February 24, 2024 3:15 p.m

Last Sunday, the Houthi militia said it attacked a freighter in the Red Sea. This was so badly damaged that it was losing a lot of oil. The US military fears an environmental catastrophe.

An attack by Yemen’s Houthi militia on a cargo ship caused a kilometer-long oil slick in the Red Sea, according to the US military. The ship is at anchor, but is gradually filling up with water and has now left an oil slick that is around 29 kilometers long, said the US regional command Centcom.

The “Rubymar” was carrying around 41,000 tons of fertilizer, which could end up in the Red Sea and worsen the environmental disaster.

Freighter flying the flag of Belize

Last Sunday, the Houthis said they attacked and severely damaged a freighter with rockets in the Bab al-Mandab Strait at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The UKMTO, which is part of the British Navy, reported the attack and said that the crew had been brought to safety. The Djibouti port authority subsequently reported that the crew of the Belize-flagged “Rubymar” had arrived safely in Djibouti.

“The Houthis continue to ignore the regional impact of their indiscriminate attacks, threatening the fishing industry, coastal communities and food imports,” the US command said in a statement.

Destroy USA Cruise missiles the Houthis

The US Central Command also said it had destroyed seven Houthi militia cruise missiles on the ground in Yemen intended to attack ships on Friday. The cruise missiles of the pro-Iranian Houthis were prepared to be fired at the Red Sea. The attacks were described as self-defense because the missiles posed an imminent threat to commercial and U.S. Navy vessels in the region.

Since November, the militia has repeatedly attacked ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, citing the war in the Gaza Strip as the reason for this. This affects shipping through the waterways and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait that connects them. The American and British militaries carried out multiple airstrikes on Houthi missile arsenals and launch pads in areas under their control in Yemen.

Miriam Staber, ARD Cairo, tagesschau, February 24, 2024 3:36 p.m

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