Yemen’s Houthis claim to have ‘targeted British oil tanker’ amidst Gaza conflict

Yemen’s Houthi rebels say they have carried out an attack on what they called a ‘British oil tanker’ in the Gulf of Aden.

Yahya Sare’e, the official spokesman for the Yemeni armed forces, said it targeted the oil tanker Marlin Luanda, which it described as a ‘British oil ship’.

But shipping records show the vessel flies the flag of the Marshall Islands, a group of Pacific islands northeast of Papua New Guinea.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the Houthi spokesman said: “Yemeni naval forces carried out a targeting operation on the British oil ship Marlin Luanda in the Gulf of Aden, using a number of appropriate naval missiles, the attack was direct , and resulted in the burning of the vessel.

“Yemeni armed forces persist with their military operations: enforcing a blockade on Israeli navigation in the Red and Arabian seas until a ceasefire is reached in Gaza, and food and medicine are allowed to the besieged Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces confirm that they are taking all military procedures within the right to defend dear Yemen and in confirmation of the continuous (sic) practical solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

Houthi rebels claim to have hit a British oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden (file photo of a ship in the Red Sea in 2017)

Houthi rebels claim to have hit a British oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden (file photo of a ship in the Red Sea in 2017)

Yemeni army spokesman Yahya Sare'e claimed that the Marlin Luanda was a 'British oil tanker'.  But records show the boat is registered in the Marshall Islands

Yemeni army spokesman Yahya Sare’e claimed that the Marlin Luanda was a ‘British oil tanker’. But records show the boat is registered in the Marshall Islands

UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), a Royal Navy capability operating in the region, said: ‘UKMTO received a report of an incident 60NM (nautical miles) South East of Aden, Yemen.

‘CSO reports that a vessel has been hit and is currently on fire. They need assistance. Authorities have been informed and are responding.

‘Vessels are advised to transport with caution and report any suspicious activity to UKMTO.’

The Houthis say they have attacked ships they believe are linked to Israel, in a campaign of solidarity with Palestinian people amid Israel’s war with Hamas.

But EURONAVFOR, the EU’s maritime security operation in North Africa, has previously warned that the Houthis appear to have attacked a wider variety of ships, possibly acting on outdated intelligence.

It previously said: ‘(The Houthis) may in certain cases capitalize on outdated information regarding ship ownership.’

MailOnline has contacted the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office for comment.

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