Attack on an oil tanker linked to Israel: “Uniformed command”, the US reaction

Yellow in the open sea. An oil tanker linked to a company affiliated with Israel was attacked off the coast of Yemen by an armed commando. The boarding of the ship, maritime security firm Ambrey said, is just the latest in a series of incidents on the same shipping route. Ambrey said “US naval forces are involved in the situation” following the incident involving the Central Park ship owned and operated by a UK-based company linked to Israel. Yemen’s Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, had already threatened to attack the oil tanker if it did not divert to the port of Hodeida. The communications were intercepted by a US coalition warship warning Central Park to ignore the messages, the maritime intelligence firm added.

The boarding took place near the Yemeni port city of Aden, with another ship in the area reporting “an approach of eight people in two boats in military uniforms,” Ambrey said. The seizure came after a US defense official said on Friday that an Israeli-owned merchant ship was damaged in a suspected Iranian drone attack in the Indian Ocean, and a week after the Houthis seized an Israeli-linked merchant ship in the southern Red Sea. The Houthis, declaring themselves part of the “axis of resistance” of Iran-affiliated groups, have launched a series of drone and missile attacks on Israel since October, following an unprecedented attack by Hamas militants on Israel and the retaliatory offensive launched by the Jewish State. in the Strip.

“US and coalition forces are close and we are closely monitoring the situation,” a US defense official said of the seizure of the Israeli oil tanker off the coast of Aden, Yemen. According to the official, “an unknown number of unidentified armed individuals” seized the vessel. Zodiac Maritime, which operates the ‘Central Park’ tanker, said it could be an “act of piracy”. “Our priority is the safety of our 22 crew members on board,” Zodiac said in a statement. “The Turkish-captained ship has a multinational crew made up of Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Indian, Georgian and Filipino citizens. The ship is carrying a full cargo of phosphoric acid,” added the company, which is part of the Zodiac Group ownership group. Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

The company Zodiac Maritime was previously targeted in the context of a broader “shadow war” between Iran and Israel. In 2021, a drone strike assessed by the United States and other Western nations as carried out by Iran killed two crew members aboard Zodiac’s Mercer Street oil tanker off the coast of Oman.

Source: IL Tempo