Yemen’s Iran backed Houthi rebels on 21 November conducted a drone attack against a Panamanian-flagged tanker docked at an SPM at the country’s Ash Shihr oil export terminal in Hadramaut province. The attack resulted in “damage to the oil-exporting platform” according to the Saudi-backed Yemeni Ministry of Defence. The Chevron managed VLCC ‘Pratika’ is currently moored around 100km off Ash Shihr and is signaling its destination as Suez, according to tracking data from intelligence firm Kpler.
The attack comes less than a week after the ‘Pacific Zircon’ products tanker was attacked off the Oman coast by what US intelligence said was an Iranian Shahed-Series drone (MEES, 18 November). The Houthis operate Shahed drones and while neither them nor Tehran had taken credit for the attack off the Omani coast, the Houthi group has confirmed attacking the Pratika. The attack follows the blueprint of an 18 October attack conducted against the Greek-owned VLCC ‘Nissos Kea’ which had entered Ash Shihr to load around 2mn barrels of 31.4° API Masila-grade crude. (CONTINUED - 243 WORDS)