Houthis retaliate with missile strike on misidentified tanker

As averred to briefly in the previous story, the Houthi militia mistakenly targeted a tanker carrying Russian oil in a missile attack on Friday, according to a report from UK-based maritime security firm Ambrey.

The vessel was identified elsewhere as the Khalissa (IMO 9388780).

United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said that it had received a report of a missile being fired 90nm southeast of Yemen’s port city of Aden, adding that “the master reported a missile landing in the water 400-500 metres away, and being followed by three small craft,” with no injuries or damage as a consequence.

Ambrey noted that this was the second tanker mistakenly targeted by the Houthis that had been carrying Russian oil.

“A Panama-flagged tanker sighted three skiffs while transiting eastbound through the International Recommended Transit Corridor,” the Ambrey report said, adding that the vessel reported a missile hitting the water.

Ambrey assessed that the vessel was mistakenly targeted based on outdated publicly available information, which linked the vessel to the United Kingdom. “This appeared to be five months old but was still listed as UK-affiliated on a public maritime database,” Ambrey said.

Eight tankers loaded in Russia were travelling through the Red Sea on Friday, according to Byron McKinney at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

2009-built, Panama-flagged, 62,863 gt Khalissa is owned and managed by Bubble Marine Inc of the Seychelles, and is managed out of Sharjah, UAE, by Merger Marine Solutions FZE. It left Ust-Luga on December 15th and as of January 9th was in the Red Sea, destination not declared.