War in the Middle East. The evolution of the conflict between Israel and Hamas

Gabon Company Owned M.V. Centcom added in a statement that no one was injured in the attack, which prompted a distress call to be sent to the Saibaba ship.

Another oil tanker, the Norwegian-flagged MV Blamanen, was targeted by a Houthi drone that narrowly missed, Centcom added, adding that it was the 14th and 15th attacks on merchant vessels by Yemeni rebels since October 17.

A few hours earlier, Centcom revealed on the social network X (formerly Twitter) that a North American destroyer patrolling the Red Sea shot down four attack drones launched from Yemen on Saturday.

The USS Laboon shot down four unmanned aerial drones that were heading toward the US ship from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, Centcom said, adding that there were “no injuries or damage.”

The US Department of Defense blamed Iran for another attack on a merchant ship in the Indian Ocean on Saturday, accusing it of launching a drone.

The US Department of Defense said the Liberian-flagged MV Chem Pluto was owned by a Japanese company and operated by a Dutch company.

US newspaper Wall Street Journal reported that the Dutch company that operates the MV Chem Pluto “has been linked to Israeli shipping tycoon Aidan Ofer”.

Yemeni rebels have claimed responsibility for several attacks on Israeli-bound merchant ships in recent weeks, claiming to support the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in its war against Israel.

Major shipping companies such as China's COSCO, its subsidiary OOCL and Taiwan's Evergreen have temporarily suspended cargo traffic on the Red Sea route, one of the world's main shipping lanes connecting Europe, Asia and Africa – joining companies such as Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd. .

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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Tuesday the establishment of a new international mission to combat attacks by Yemeni Houthi rebels against shipping in the Red Sea.

More than 20 countries will participate, the US Department of Defense said Thursday.

The Prosperity Guardian mission will be coordinated by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), which includes Task Force CTF 153, formed in April 2022 to enhance maritime security in the Red Sea and Bab El Strait.

The CMF consists of 39 countries, including Portugal.

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