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Iran-backed terrorists attack oil tanker; US Navy responds

U.S. Sailors man the rails aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Logan C. Kellums)
December 12, 2023

Iran-backed Houthi terrorists attacked a Norwegian commercial oil tanker Monday evening as it traveled between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea in the Middle East, prompting a U.S. Navy ship to respond to the tanker’s “mayday call.”

United States Central Command released a statement regarding Monday’s Houthi attack on X, formerly Twitter.

“At around 4 p.m. EST on December 11, the Motor Tanker STRINDA was attacked by what is assessed to have been an Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM) launched from a Houthi controlled area of Yemen while passing through the Bab-el-Mandeb,” U.S. Central Command stated.

U.S. Central Command explained that the STRINDA reported that the attack resulted in a fire on the vessel; however, no casualties were reported from the missile attack.

The statement released by U.S. Central Command added, “There were no US ships in the vicinity at the time of the attack, but the USS MASON responded to the M/T STRINDA’s mayday call and is currently rendering assistance.”

According to Reuters, Yehia Sarea, a Houthi spokesman, claimed that the terrorist organization launched a missile attack against the oil tanker because it was delivering crude oil to an Israeli terminal; however, Norway’s Mowinckel Chemical Tankers noted that the oil tanker was traveling to Italy with biofuel feedstock, not crude oil.

READ MORE: US Navy captures terrorists

Prior to the U.S. military confirming the Houthi attack against the oil tanker, the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations shared an alert on social media warning regarding an “incident affecting a vessel in the vicinity of the Bab El Mandeb.”

According to The Daily Wire, President Joe Biden has been facing increasing pressure for not directing a strong military response to the string of attacks launched by Houthi terrorists and other terrorist groups backed by Iran over the past two months.

Multiple U.S. defense officials recently told POLITICO that the president’s response to the attacks launched against U.S. forces in the Middle East and commercial vessels in the region has only allowed the situation to continue to escalate despite attempting to avoid tensions from further escalating.

Former commander of the U.S. 5th Fleet, retired Vice Adm. John Miller, told POLITICO that the United States was “not taking this seriously” since the attacks by terrorist organizations in the Middle East “have gone largely unanswered.” Miller added, “We’re not deterring anybody right now.”