Empty Greek-owned bulk carrier hit by missile off Yemen

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A Greek-owned tanker came under attack off the coast of Yemen in the Red Sea on Tuesday, in an incident that is being attributed to a string of similar attacks by Houthi-led rebels.

British maritime security firm Ambrey said in an advisory note that a Malta-flagged Greek-owned bulk carrier, the Zografia, was reportedly targeted and impacted with a missile while transiting northbound in the Red Sea 76 nautical miles northwest of Yemen’s port city of Saleef.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) also said it received a report of an incident 100 nautical miles northwest of Saleef.

The damage to the vessel is described as minor and no injuries have been reported among the crew of 24 people, which comprises three Filipinos, 20 Ukrainians and one Georgian national.

There are no Greeks onboard, a spokesperson for owner Vulcanus Technical Maritime Enterprise said.

The ship was sailing without cargo from Vietnam to Israel. It is now headed to Suez for a detailed assessment.

The Iran-aligned Houthi group has threatened to expand its targets in the Red Sea to protest against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza to include US ships in response to American and British strikes on its sites in Yemen.

Attacks by the Houthis on ships in area since November have impacted companies and alarmed major powers, in an escalation of Israel’s more than three-month war with Hamas militants in Gaza.

The group says it is acting in solidarity with Palestinians. As well as disrupting supply chains, there are fears that the attacks could make it more difficult for policymakers to keep global inflation in check.

Last week, Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels, seized a Greek-owned tanker, St Nikolas, in the Red Sea.

[Reuters/Kathimerini/AMNA]