Voz media US Voz.us

U.S. warship rescues Israeli businessman's oil tanker from pirate hijacking

Two ballistic missiles were fired from Yemen, landing 11.5 miles from the USS Mason as it was completing rescue operations.

Imagen de archivo de un entrenamiento en  el mar Mediterráneo del que participó el USS Mason.

Archive photo of training in the Mediterranean Sea involving the USS Mason / America's Navy

Published by

The U.S. warship USS Mason (DDG 87) rescued a commercial vessel, owned by an Israeli businessman, from a pirate hijacking on Sunday in the Gulf of Aden.

The USS Mason and other ships from allied countries received a distress signal from the Central Park oil tanker over the weekend. The crew was able to hide in a safe room that the kidnappers could not access, even though they tried to force entry with guns. When the Mason demanded the release of the crew, five pirates tried to escape in the boat they came on, but were pursued until they surrendered.

This was reported by the United States Central Command, which also explained that on Monday, when the Mason was concluding the rescue operation, two ballistic missiles were fired from areas of Yemen controlled by the Houthi rebels, one of Iran's armed proxy groups. The missiles landed 10 nautical miles (11.5 miles) from where the USS Mason was located. There were no injuries or material damage.

According to Atlas News, Houthi members denied responsibility for the attack. Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder also assured Monday that the assailants did not belong to Houthis, but that the attack was carried out by five Somalis and was "related" to piracy.

According to Osint Defender, a Japanese destroyer provided assistance to the U.S. forces, while two Chinese warships that were in the area remained at a distance.

Zodiac Maritime, the company that owns the hijacked vessel, announced Sunday that the Central Park oil tanker, which was carrying a full load of phosphoric acid, had been the target of "a suspected piracy incident."

Our priority is the safety of our 22 crew onboard. The ship, flying the Turkish flag, has a multinational crew made up of Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Indian, Georgian and Filipino citizens.

The London-based company is owned by Eyal Ofer, an Israeli businessman based in Monaco.

Other attacks in the area

This comes at the same time as a series of aggressions in Middle Eastern waters since the war between Israel and Hamas began.

A week ago, Houthis captured all 25 members of a ship they said had ties to Israel hostage. The kidnappers threatened that this assault on the Red Sea would not be the last. They said they would only stop if Israeli troops suspended their offensive on Gaza. The weekend truce appears not to have sufficed, as the latest attacks occurred during the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

Another Israeli-owned ship was attacked last Friday. According to the latest reports, an Iranian drone damaged the CMA CGM Symi freighter, forcing the crew to abandon the ship. Although it has not been confirmed at the moment, it is believed that some group related to Iran, such as Houthis, was behind this onslaught in the Indian Ocean.

American bases, another Iranian target?

Terrorist groups related to the Iranian regime are also allegedly behind attacks against American bases in Syria and Iraq that occurred after the Oct. 7 massacre that marked the start of the war. Between Oct. 17 and 24 alone, the Pentagon recorded at least 13 attacks with drones or rockets.

According to Pentagon officials, these attacks have "Iranian fingerprints all over it."