Shipping industry officials are on alert and alert as they cross the Gulf of Aden due to news of an Aframax-class tanker severely damaged after being hit by a sea mine in Yemeni waters.
Significant pollution was seen in satellite imagery after a 10-year-old Maltese-flagged vessel Syra was blown up by a mine on October 3, shortly before midnight.
When the explosion occurred, the vessel was receiving crude oil from the Bir Ali single-bay crude oil mooring system, located in central Yemeni waters.
It is reported that several suspicious floating objects approached it while the tanker was loading oil. One or two of these objects – presumably floating IEDs or sea mines – later exploded in the immediate vicinity of the tanker, according to the BLACK SEA-AZOV TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATION OF THE RUSSIAN SEAFARERS ‘PROFESSIONAL UNION.
Security consultant Ambrey Intelligence suggested that the incident was likely a sign of an ongoing war between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council, a secessionist organization.
Ambrey’s senior analyst, Jake Longworth, said no terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing.
“The military threat rating of Bir Ali and Ash Shikhr, the only operating export terminals in Yemen, has been raised to high. This is due to the real threat that an attacker on Syra could in the future try to disrupt any export from Yemen using the same tactics, ”Longworth said.
The vessel, owned by the Eastern Mediterranean Maritime (Eastmed) under the leadership of Thanassis Martinos, just 18 days ago changed its insurance to the Standard Club. Eastmed officials declined to comment on the damage to the vessel.