Houthi rebels severely damage Greek merchant ship in Red Sea attack

The Houthis, an Iran-aligned group based in Yemen, have been carrying out these attacks in what they claim is a response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza and in support of Palestinians.

Yemeni Houthi rebels have launched an attack on a Greek-owned merchant vessel, causing severe damage and potentially leading to its sinking, according to reports from the U.S. military Central Command.

The targeted ship, identified as the Tutor, is a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier that was en route from Russia when the attack occurred. The U.S. military reports that the vessel’s engine room sustained significant damage during the assault, raising serious concerns about its seaworthiness.

This incident marks the latest in a series of attacks by Houthi rebels on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, a critical maritime corridor for global trade. The Houthis, an Iran-aligned group based in Yemen, have been carrying out these attacks in what they claim is a response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza and in support of Palestinians.

The targeting of a ship travelling from Russia adds a new dimension to the situation, potentially complicating international responses to the Houthi attacks. It remains unclear whether the vessel’s origin played a role in its selection as a target or if it was a target of opportunity.

The attack on the Tutor highlights the growing risks to maritime security in the region, a concern that has already prompted many shipping companies to reroute their vessels away from the Red Sea, opting for longer but safer routes around Africa.

International naval forces, including those from the United States and other coalition partners, have been deployed to the region to protect commercial shipping. However, this latest incident demonstrates the ongoing challenge of securing the vast maritime area against asymmetric threats posed by groups like the Houthis.

As the situation develops, maritime authorities and international bodies are likely to reassess security measures in the Red Sea. The potential sinking of the Tutor not only represents a significant loss for its owners but also raises environmental concerns due to possible fuel leaks.

The international community continues to call for an end to these attacks, emphasizing the importance of maintaining free and safe navigation in this crucial waterway. The incident is expected to further intensify diplomatic efforts to address the underlying conflicts driving the Houthi actions and to secure the Red Sea for global commerce.