New Houthi attack on cargo ship risks ‘environmental disaster,’ US says

By Gabriel Gavin | 02/26/2024 12:35 PM EST

The attacked ship’s cargo of fertilizer could spill into the Red Sea, U.S. defense officials warned.

A cargo ship sailing through the tense waters of the Red Sea was hit in an overnight strike by Yemen-based Houthi militants, defense officials in Washington said, in what could be the most serious incident since the group began harassing commercial shipping last year.

According to U.S. Central Command, the Rubymar, a Belize-flagged, U.K.-owned bulk carrier, was targeted late Friday night while carrying around 22,000 metric tons of fertilizer.
U.S. Central Command

“The unprovoked and reckless attack by Iran-backed Houthi terrorists caused significant damage to the ship, which caused an 18-mile oil slick,” it said in a statement.


While the crew of 24 has been safely evacuated, the cargo of fertilizer “could spill into the Red Sea and worsen this environmental disaster,” it said.