Yemen’s Houthis warn ships in Red Sea to avoid travel to Israel


© Reuters.

(This Dec 12. story has been corrected to make it clear that the Houthi statement was referring to Israel in the headline, paragraph 1 and paragraph 3)

CAIRO (Reuters) – A senior official from Yemen’s Houthis on Tuesday warned cargo ships in the Red Sea to avoid traveling toward Israel, after the Iran-aligned group claimed an attack on a commercial tanker earlier in the day.

The Houthis earlier said they hit a Norwegian commercial tanker with a missile in their latest protest against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, underlining the risks of a conflict that has shaken the Middle East.

In addition to avoid heading toward Israel, which the group referred to as “occupied Palestine”, ships that pass Yemen should keep radios turned on, and quickly respond to Houthi attempts at communication, Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, head of Yemen’s Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, said in a message on the X social media platform.

Al-Houthi also warned cargo ships against “falsifying their identity” or raising flags different from the country belonging to cargo ship owner.

The Iran-aligned group attacked the tanker, the STRINDA, because it was delivering to an Israeli terminal and after its crew ignored all warnings, Houthi military spokesperson Yehia Sarea had previously said in a statement.

The Houthis have waded into the Israel-Hamas conflict – which has spread around the region – attacking vessels in vital shipping lanes and firing drones and missiles at Israel more than 1,000 miles from their seat of power in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

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