Abandoned Tanker Has Likely Sunk Off Yemen

News Agencies | 2024-07-03 09:25 PM UTC
Abandoned Tanker Has Likely Sunk Off Yemen


An abandoned tanker that was drifting off Yemen's coast in June has disappeared and is believed to have sunk, three navy and security sources said, the latest vessel lost in the strategically important Red Sea. The area, on the main shipping route from Europe to Asia, is considered high risk as Yemen's Houthis have launched more than 70 attacks on merchant vessels since October in what they say is solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. Maritime security sources said last week the abandoned tanker, the Lavant, was unlikely to have been targeted by the Houthis. According to two sources, it had reported an engine failure and was taking on water. Houthis in Yemen have so far sunk two vessels, seized another and killed at least three seafarers.


Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister and the Russian President's special envoy to the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, condemned the ongoing U.S. and British strikes on Yemen. In a statement, the Russian Embassy in Yemen said that Bogdanov met with the head of the Houthi negotiating delegation, Mohammed Abdul Salam, in the Omani capital, Muscat. According to the statement, the meeting paid particular attention to the dynamics of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the situation in the Red Sea, and the ongoing American and British strikes on Yemen. U.S. strikes on Houthi sites in Yemen began in January this year.


Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis will release Mohammed Qahtan, leader of the Islah party, under a deal reached with the Saudi-backed government in Aden, top Houthi negotiator Abdul Qadir Al-Murtada said on Wednesday. The Houthis have not confirmed if Qahtan is dead or alive, a government negotiator, who did not want to be named, told Reuters. Qahtan, whose Islah party is a powerful member of the Saudi-backed government, was detained by the Houthis in 2015. His family said they have not been permitted to visit him and they do not know where he has been held.


The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement's armed wing, Al Quds Brigades, said on Wednesday some Israeli hostages have attempted suicide after it started treating them the same way Israel treated Palestinian prisoners. "Some enemy prisoners have attempted suicide as a result of the extreme frustration they are feeling due to their government's neglect of their cause," Al Quds Brigades spokesperson Abu Hamza said in a post on Telegram. Hamas says any deal must end the war and bring full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, while Israel says it will accept only temporary pauses in fighting until Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, is eradicated.