A second attack on an oil tanker in the vital international trade route at the Yemeni coast has heightened concerns that commercial shipping is at risk in the region, reported Al Arabiya.
It is still unclear whether the culprits of the attack were Houthi rebels or pirates, although the latter is more likely; Major General Ahmed Assiri, a Saudi coalition spokesman stated that it is important the Houthi rebels and their allies take immediate steps to implement the United Nations Security Council resolution 2216, leading to a peaceful end to the conflict.
The LNG tanker, names Melati Satu, was on its way to India from the Ukraine when it was attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade; the vessel was recused and accompanied by coalition forces until it reached safety.
This news comes a day after PTI reported another LNG tanker being attacked from the Yemeni coast on the strait; the Spanish-flagged Galicia Spirit was fired upon as it passed Perim Island, between the coast of Djibouti and Yemen.
Unease over the effects of the civil war in Yemen spilling into the shipping lanes has been building for weeks, but until this week there hadn’t been an attack on civilian vessels since July, 2016, carriers are not yet diverting vessels or avoiding the route, but that could change following these two incidents.
The main two concerns regarding the use of the Bab al-Mandab strait is a spike in insurance costs for traveling in the region and disrupted operations for commercial services.