UN Raises Funds to Salvage the Safer Tanker

The Safer tanker. File photo
The Safer tanker. File photo
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UN Raises Funds to Salvage the Safer Tanker

The Safer tanker. File photo
The Safer tanker. File photo

The United Nations said Wednesday it has raised the $75 million necessary to salvage the Safer, a stricken tanker off Yemen, in an emergency operation aimed at averting a disastrous Red Sea oil spill -- and a potential $20 billion cleanup.

UN officials last month warned that the 45-year-old FSO Safer, abandoned off the port of Hodeidah, was a ticking environmental time bomb requiring immediate action.

"We are able to announce we have now pledges and commitment sufficient to start the FSO Safer salvage operation," said David Gressly, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Yemen and leader of the global body's efforts on the Safer.

"It's a very key milestone," he said, adding that donor pledges have now topped $77 million.

The first phase of the salvage operation would stabilize the FSO Safer and transfer the oil to another vessel.

A second phase involving long-term storage of the cargo is estimated to cost another $38 million.

"We believe that we could meet that in a timely fashion," Gressly said of the cost.

The ship contains 1.1 million barrels of oil. The United Nations has said a spill could destroy ecosystems, shut down the fishing industry and close the Hodeidah port for six months.

The result would potentially be the fifth largest oil spill from a tanker in history, with the clean-up costs alone reaching $20 billion.



Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
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Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)

Israeli strikes late on Saturday targeted a depot storing ammunition belonging to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, three security sources told Reuters.

The strikes on the town of Adloun, about 40 km north of Lebanon's border with Israel, set off a string of loud explosions heard by witnesses across the south of Lebanon.

At least four civilians in Adloun were wounded in the strikes, a medical source and a security source told Reuters.

Hezbollah said that its fighters fired dozens of rockets into northern Israel on Saturday, targeting a kibbutz for the first time in nine months in retaliation for an Israeli drone strike earlier in the day that wounded several people including children.
Also Saturday, Hamas said it fired rockets from Lebanon toward an Israeli army post in the northern Israeli village of Shomera in retaliation for the “Zionists massacres” in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has carried out such attacks form Lebanon over the past several months, but they have been rare.
Hezbollah’s attack with dozens of Katyusha rockets on the northern Israeli kibbutz of Dafna came few hours after an Israeli drone strike hit a car in the southern Lebanese village of Burj al-Muluk, and shrapnel from the missile wounded several people who were standing nearby. The state-run National News Agency said that the wounded civilians are Syrian citizens and they included children.

The Israeli military said that about 45 projectiles were detected crossing from Lebanon into northern Israel in three separate barrages. It said that some were intercepted, while others fell in open areas, causing no injuries, but triggering several fires in the Golan Heights.