Security in the Gulf of Aden


The 31-state naval alliance „Combined Maritime Forces“, based in Bahrain and led by the United States, oversees security in some international waters including the Gulf of Aden.

In the framework of the recent attacks against merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb, which have highlighted that there are still risks associated with transits through these waters, the CMF decided to publish a letter to the industry with an executive summary over the incident with M/T Muskie in mid of May 2017.

The vessel was target of three rocket-propelled grenades, which were fired at the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker from a boat. While none of the crew was injured and the tanker sailed on into the Red Sea, the identity of the attackers could not be specified.

While the incident was a clear proof, that criminals in those waters still have the resources and the will to conduct acts of piracy despite the Naval presence in the region, EU NAVFOR could not confirm tripwires for Somali based piracy for the incident. According to US officials it is more likely, that the attack was carried out by Yemen based Houthi-rebels as the place of the incident is close to the area, where a US naval vessel was attacked with land-based missiles in the last year.

Even though the source of the latest attack is unclear, it is recommended that all mariners sailing through the High Risk Area follow the standard reporting and best management procedures.

Please click on the link below for the full Statement to the industry by the CMF.

Statement to the Industry

Article by the US Naval Institute

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