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White House says True Confidence tanker attacked by Houthis is not a US ship

"The ship they attacked was a Barbados flagged Liberian owned one bulk carrier," the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said

WASHINGTON, March 7. /TASS/. The True Confidence bulk tanker that was attacked by the Houthis from the Yemeni rebel movement Ansar Allah was not a US ship, the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told a regular briefing for journalists on Wednesday.

"Today, the Houthis have killed innocent civilians by continuing their reckless attacks against international commercial shipping, which impacts countries throughout the world. The ship they attacked was a Barbados flagged Liberian owned one bulk carrier. It was not a US ship contrary to what the Houthis claimed," she said.

"These reckless attacks by the Iran backed Houthis have not only disrupted global trade and commerce but also taking the lives of international sea seafarers simply doing their jobs," Jean-Pierre said. According to her, the US "will call on governments around the world to do the same and join us in bringing to a halt these appalling attacks."

Speaking about what Washington would do if a US Navy ship was attacked, the White House press secretary assured: "You've seen us respond. When you saw three military members were killed not too long ago, you saw our response."

When asked whether the American side intends to more actively counteract the Houthis in light of what happened, Jean-Pierre replied: "The US obviously is going to continue to take action."

"We believe that we have been able to degrade their capabilities in the actions that we've taken over the past several weeks, several months," she added.

"We know that the strikes have indeed impacted on degrading their capabilities, and that's important. We have taken out significant amount of Houthi weapons, and our military's regularly destroying Houthi missiles and when they're being loaded and prepared to launch but before they can actually be fired at commercial ships," the White House press secretary said.

Attack on the ship

Earlier the Houthis confirmed that they had attacked the True Confidence ship in the Gulf of Aden. According to the movement spokesman Yahya Saree, several anti-ship missiles were used in the attack. According to him, the blows were accurate and as a result a fire broke out on the ship. The Ansar Allah military spokesman added that "the operation was carried out after the ship's crew rejected warning signals."

Reuters reported that the attacked bulk carrier True Confidence was adrift and there was a fire on board. According to the agency, the owner of the vessel is a Greek company with no connection to the United States, while the British company Ambrey, specializing in maritime security, said that the attacked bulk carrier, sailing under the Barbados flag, was American.

According to the British Embassy in Sanaa, two sailors were killed in the attack. In turn, Reuters reported citing unnamed sources that as a result of the attack, three True Confidence crew members went missing, and four more received serious burns.

Following the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis warned that they would launch strikes on Israeli territory while barring ships associated with the Jewish state from passing through the waters of the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait until Tel Aviv ceased its military operation against Palestinian radical group Hamas in the embattled enclave. Since mid-November, dozens of civilian ships have been attacked by the Houthis in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.