Targeted Or Unintentional? Oil Tanker Traveling From Russia To China Hit By Houthi Missiles In Red Sea

Ujjwal Shrotryia

May 20, 2024, 02:10 PM | Updated 02:10 PM IST

Houthi militia's are targeting international maritime ship in the Red Sea. (Representative image)
Houthi militia's are targeting international maritime ship in the Red Sea. (Representative image)

In an incident that has raised eyebrows, a China-bound Panamanian-flagged Greek-owned oil tanker was hit (on 18 May) by a Houthi missile attack in the Red Sea.

The oil tanker M/T Wind was hit by a Houthi missile while it was transiting through the Red Sea. The strike damaged the ship's propulsion and steering system and disabled it for some time. However, the Wind’s crew was able to fix the damage, and it resumed its journey under its own power.

The tanker reportedly had just visited Russia and was travelling to China.

The Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi militia is targeting international maritime ships passing through the Red Sea using drone or missile attacks in protest of Israeli forces' combat operations in Gaza.

International maritime traffic, therefore, has to avoid going through the Straits of Hormuz and go all the way around the Cape of Good Hope, increasing delivery timelines and freight costs.

This strike against the China-bound tanker is noteworthy since the Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi militia have avoided hitting any Russian or Chinese ships transiting through the Red Sea, while ships from other nations, including India, are constantly getting hit, hinting at a tacit understanding between China, Iran, and the Houthi militia.

Just ten days ago, Iran released an Indian crew member of an Israeli-linked vessel, MSC Aries, seized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Several Indian ships have been struck by missiles and drones fired by the Houthis in the past months.

This strike on the China-bound oil tanker has raised questions of whether the strike was targeted or unintentional. However, this strike on the Panamanian-flagged vessel looks more like an unintentional hit by the Houthis.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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