US Navy Rescues Hijacked Tanker in Gulf of Aden Amid Rising Tensions Due to Gaza war

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Government Nov 27, 2023

In a daring nighttime operation, the United States military announced that its destroyer, the USS Mason, successfully rescued the tanker "The Central Park" in the Gulf of Aden. The vessel, owned by the British company Zodiac Maritime and operated by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, had reportedly fallen prey to an "unidentified force" in the strategically significant region.

The incident unfolded approximately 60 kilometers south of Yemen and 110 kilometers northeast of Somalia, both critical locations along a key trade route. The Gulf of Aden has witnessed increased tensions, with recent threats from Houthi rebels, loyal to Iran, against ships associated with Israel.

Following a distress signal from the tanker's crew, a naval force, including the USS Mason, intervened. The US Central Command revealed that armed individuals had taken control of the tanker, prompting a demand for surrender. Five armed men attempted to flee on a small boat but were pursued and captured by the USS Mason.

The announcement did not disclose the identity of the apprehended individuals. Notably, at the conclusion of the rescue operation, two ballistic missiles were launched at the USS Mason from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen. The missiles landed about 16 kilometers from the destroyer, but no injuries were reported among the crew of either the tanker or the USS Mason.

While the Houthi rebels have not yet commented on the incident, recent threats against ships linked to Israel have escalated tensions in the region. Last week, an Israeli billionaire's vessel was targeted by an Iranian drone in the Indian Ocean, and a cargo ship labeled as "Israeli" was hijacked by the Houthis a week ago, despite Israeli claims that it belonged to a British company and was operated by a Japanese firm.

The Yemeni government, recognized internationally and engaged in a civil war against the Houthi rebels, explicitly accused Iran's allies of orchestrating the tanker's seizure. The government condemned the "acts of maritime piracy" and accused the Houthis of receiving support from the Iranian regime.

This incident adds to the complexity of the situation in the Gulf of Aden, raising questions about the security of vital trade routes and the involvement of regional powers in maritime activities.

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