Monday, July 22, 2024

US analysis suggests Yemen Houthi rebels launched Iranian missile towards Norwegian-flagged ship, debris examined

Iran-Linked Missile Attack on Norwegian-flagged Tanker in Red Sea Linked to Houthi Rebels, US Military Says

The U.S. military has confirmed that Yemen’s Houthi rebels likely fired an Iranian-made anti-ship cruise missile at a Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea in December, creating a direct link between the rebels and Tehran. The attack on the Strinda vessel, which was bound for the Suez Canal, sparked a major fire on board but fortunately, no one was hurt.

The investigation revealed that the missile used in the attack matched the Iranian Noor anti-ship ballistic cruise missile, confirming Iran’s involvement in supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen’s ongoing war. The Iranian version of the missile, believed to have a range of up to 170 kilometers, is a reverse-engineered model of the Chinese C-802 anti-ship missile.

Despite Iran denying arming the rebels due to a UN arms embargo, multiple arms shipments seized in the Middle East and weapons experts have tied Houthi arms back to Iran. The U.S. Navy also seized parts related to the Noor anti-ship cruise missile in a raid near the coast of Somalia, highlighting further evidence of Iranian support.

The Houthi attacks on ships have escalated since November due to the Israel-Hamas war, with over 70 vessels targeted and four sailors killed. The rebels claim their attacks target ships linked to Israel, the U.S., or Britain, but many attacked vessels have little to no connection to the conflict. This ongoing campaign has disrupted the Red Sea corridor, leading to intense combat and significant economic impact.

The DIA report also stated that the Houthis have conducted over 100 attacks using Iran-supplied weapons against various targets in the region, further highlighting the destabilizing impact of the conflict. As tensions rise, the international community continues to monitor and respond to the situation in Yemen and the broader Middle East region.

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