The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack on the Greek-owned tanker

From Yumna Ihab and Jana Shakir

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Iran-aligned Houthis have claimed responsibility for Thursday's missile attack on the Barbados-flagged cargo tanker Lycavidus in the Gulf of Aden.

The Houthis said the targeted ship was British. The vessel is operated by Helicon Shipping Enterprises, which has offices in London, Athens and Dalian, China.

Helicon responded by saying that the ship was owned by Greece and that the details previously published by the UK Maritime Trade Commission were “very informative” without providing further details.

The Maritime Trade Commission said earlier on Thursday that it had received reports of an explosion near a ship about 85 nautical miles east of Aden.

British maritime defense firm Ambre said the ship sustained minor damage when the missile struck about 100 nautical miles east of Aden, Yemen.

Embry said the crew is safe and damage to the ship's hull is contained.

The defense agency advised other ships to be cautious as the Houthis targeted a few ships in a single day and some ships multiple times.

Earlier on Thursday, Britain's Maritime Trade Commission said the explosion occurred near a ship 85 nautical miles east of the Yemeni port of Aden.

The Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen have been carrying out drone and missile attacks on international merchant ships in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait since mid-November, and say their attacks come in support of the Palestinians against Israeli military operations in Gaza. .

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Sources in the shipping and insurance industry said the Houthis' targets were ships that had trade ties with the US, Britain or Israel.

The attacks forced many shipping companies to halt their voyages in the Red Sea and reroute their ships to circumnavigate Africa via the longer and more expensive route, the Cape of Good Hope. US and British warplanes launched retaliatory strikes across Yemen.

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