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Red Sea: US military warns of environmental disaster in the Red Sea

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Red Sea: US military warns of environmental disaster in the Red Sea

A fertilizer freighter was attacked by the Houthis in the Red Sea. An almost 30 kilometer long oil slick and possible chemical leaks threaten the marine environment.

The fertilizer freighter “Rubymar” that was hit by Houthi rockets leaves an almost 30-kilometer-long oil trail in the Red Sea. © Planet Labs PBC/​AP/​dpa

The US military warns that an environmental catastrophe could be brewing in the Red Sea. The Yemeni Houthi militia had already fired on a freighter last Sunday. After the attack, an almost 30 kilometer long oil slick had formed, the US regional command Centcom announced on Saturday.

The “Rubymar” was at anchor and was slowly filling up with water. The freighter was carrying around 41,000 tonnes of fertilizer. If they end up in the Red Sea, they could make the environmental catastrophe caused by the oil leak even worse. Last Sunday, the Houthis said they attacked and severely damaged a freighter with rockets in the Bab al-Mandab Strait at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

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The UKMTO, which is part of the British Navy, reported the attack and said that the crew had been brought to safety. The “Rubymar” was flying the Belize flag and was en route to Bulgaria from Chorfakkan in the United Arab Emirates. Videos of the freighter’s alleged sinking are circulating on social networks. But the photos and videos are already more than ten years old and do not show the “Rubymar”.

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The US military warns that an environmental catastrophe could be brewing in the Red Sea. The Yemeni Houthi militia had already fired on a freighter last Sunday. After the attack, an almost 30 kilometer long oil slick had formed, the US regional command Centcom announced on Saturday.

The “Rubymar” was at anchor and was slowly filling up with water. The freighter was carrying around 41,000 tonnes of fertilizer. If they end up in the Red Sea, they could make the environmental catastrophe caused by the oil leak even worse. Last Sunday, the Houthis said they attacked and severely damaged a freighter with rockets in the Bab al-Mandab Strait at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

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