Environmental disaster threatens Red Sea after attack on Rubymar

The Yemen’s Houthi group attack last week on a UK-owned ship in the Red Sea caused an 18-mile oil slick, the US military said early Saturday.

The Rubymar, a Belize-flagged bulk carrier, was attacked on February 18, the US Central Command (Centcom) said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, adding that the vessel “is anchored but slowly taking on water.”

The attack cause significant damage to the ship which, as it is reported, caused an 18-mile oil slick.

The statement warned that the 171.6 meters long vessel, which was transporting over 41,000 tons of fertilizer when it was attacked, could spill into the Red Sea and worsen this environmental disaster.

To remind, two anti-ship ballistic missiles launched on February 18 from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward the bulker Rubymar.

One of the missiles struck the vessel, causing damage. The ship issued a distress call and a coalition warship along with another merchant vessel responded to the call to assist the crew of the Rubymar.

As it is reported, the crew was transported to a nearby port by the merchant vessel.

“The Houthis continue to demonstrate disregard for the regional impact of their indiscriminate attacks, threatening the fishing industry, coastal communities, and imports of food supplies,” the US military pointed out.

In a separate statement, Centcom said its forces on Saturday shot down one anti-ship ballistic missile launched into the Gulf of Aden from Houthis.

The missile was likely targeting the vessel “Torm Thor”, a U.S.-flagged, owned, and operated chemical/oil tanker.

As it is revealed by Centcom, “neither USS Mason nor Torm Thor were damaged and there were no injuries.”

The spokesperson for the Yemeni armed forces, Yahya Sare’e, said in a statement the ship was American.

“The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces carried out a specific military operation targeted the American ship “Torm Thor” in the Gulf of Aden, with a number of appropriate naval missiles.”

Environmental disaster threatens Red Sea after attack on Rubymar

The U.S. forces alongside UK armed forces, supported by Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, conducted on Saturday strikes against 18 Houthi targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

The central command said the “the targets included Houthi underground weapons storage facilities, missile storage facilities, one-way attack unmanned aerial systems, air defense systems, radars, and a helicopter.”