Houthi-Damaged Ship Towed Back From Sea Amid Oil Spill Concerns

(VitalNews.org) – A ship that was attacked by Houthi rebels in mid-February has remained abandoned in the sea awaiting towing as there is growing concern about an oil spill.

A Belize-flagged cargo vessel called Rubymar was attacked by Houthis, an Iran-backed militant group, who claimed that they dealt a “catastrophic attack.” The crew abandoned the ship after the Houthis said there was a “risk of potential sinking in the Gulf of Aden.” The attack caused an oil slick that spanned 18 miles, according to the U.S. Central Command.

The Central Command expanded on the danger this poses, saying, “The M/V Rubymar was transporting over 41,000 tons of fertilizer when it was attacked, which could spill into the Red Sea and worsen this environmental disaster,”

As of right now, the ship is waiting to be towed by the U.S. Navy to the Jeddah port in Saudi Arabia. They’ve had difficulty getting a port to accept the tanker, and there’s no confirmation stated by them that the ports will accept the tanker in Saudi Arabia.

The growing concern comes with attacks such as these; the effect on the environment from an oil spill can last a long time. It can have effects on the wildlife and marine habitats.

MENA Program Director for Greenpeace said, “Oil being a highly toxic substance means that any oil spill has adverse impacts on the surrounding environment and communities, the degree of which depends on several factors such as the quantity released and the sea current.”

The Houthi militant group has been attacking ships that come through the Red Sea to steer away Israeli ships, but it has steered off many ships that will have to journey through the Red Sea for trade and commerce.

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