U.S. says Somali pirates might be responsible for hijacking Israel linked tanker

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The United States has said that a group of attackers who tried to seize an Israel – linked cruise over the weekend were Somali pirates rather than the Houthi rebels, which were earlier reported.

Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, on Monday, said United States has not yet ruled the Houthi connection into hijacking the vessel by five armed men over the weekend.

“We’re continuing to assess, but initial indications that these five individuals are Somali,” stated Ryder. He added that it is clearly a piracy-related incident.

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U.S. Navy forces thwarted the capture of the tanker after it was boarded by armed men, who were captured after U.S. warship Mason arrived on the scene.

The attempted hijacking on Israel – linked vessel comes at a time when Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have carried out a series of raids on the ships in the region, as the U.S. also claimed that ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi-controlled Yemen shortly after the attack.