ADEN, Yemen, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- An Israel-linked commercial oil tanker seized by unknown attackers off the coast of Aden has been released, a senior official from the Yemeni government's Coast Guard Forces said on Monday.
Khaled Al-Qumali, head of the Coast Guard Forces, said that the U.S. Navy intervened to stop the hijacking of the commercial ship Central Park on Sunday and led to the release of the ship and the capture of the pirates responsible for the hijacking.
No casualties were reported, and all the ship's 22 crew members of various nationalities were rescued, he said.
On Sunday, the Liberian-flagged Central Park ship, which is managed by a Britain-based ship management firm owned by Israel's Ofer family, was intercepted by unknown attackers suspected of belonging to the Yemeni Houthi militia, according to an official of the Yemeni Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation.
The U.S. destroyer USS Mason, part of the Dwight D Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, responded to a distress call from the tanker and demanded the release of the ship, after which two ballistic missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen early Monday morning and fell into the Gulf of Aden, about 10 nautical miles from the ships, the U.S. military reported.
The incident followed another high-profile seizure in the region. On Nov. 19, the Houthi group claimed to have captured an "Israeli cargo ship" in the Red Sea.
The Houthi group linked their action to the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, which started on Oct. 7.
Since the Yemeni civil war erupted in late 2014, the Houthi militia has taken control of much of Yemen's north, including the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah. ■