China-Bound Oil Tanker Hit by Houthi Missile in Red Sea, US Says

(Bloomberg) -- A China-bound oil tanker in the Red Sea was struck and temporarily disabled by a ballistic anti-ship missile fired by Houthi militants, the US Central Command said.

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The strike Saturday on the Greek-owned M/T Wind caused flooding that knocked out its propulsion and steering, which the crew restored without help from a coalition vessel that responded to a distress call. The Wind, which most recently docked in Russia, resumed its course under its own power, Centcom said in a statement. No casualties were reported.

While Centcom didn’t provide a location, Agence-France Presse reported earlier Saturday that an oil tanker was hit near the Bab el-Mandeb strait, about 10 nautical miles (19 kilometers) southwest of the Yemeni port of Mokha. AFP cited maritime security firm Ambrey.

Iran-backed Houthis have been attacking warships and merchant vessels passing through the Red Sea since mid-November, especially those linked to Israel, the US and the UK, in response to Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. They’ve effectively closed a key global shipping route, forcing ships traveling between Asia and Europe to avoid the Suez Canal and go around southern Africa.

Read more: Houthis Threaten to Try to Attack Ships in Mediterranean Sea

Separately, UK Maritime Trade Operations earlier reported a vessel with some damage, 98 nautical miles south of Al Hudaydah, Yemen. The ship known as the Master sustained slight damage after being struck by an unknown object on the port quarter. The ship and its crew were safe and continued to their next port of call.

Shipping and freight executives believe the Red Sea will remain too dangerous for many more months, if not the rest of the year putting some upwards pressure on energy markets.

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