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A cargo ship, the Rubymar, was attacked by Houthi rebels in Yemen, causing a spill of oil and fertilizer into the Red Sea. This poses a significant threat to the environment, affecting food, drinking water, and marine life.

The ship sank after being struck by a missile, leaking heavy fuel and triggering an oil slick. The situation is devastating, with concerns about public health, especially in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, where desalination plants are vital for drinking water.

The spill could harm marine life, fishing, and coral reefs in the Red Sea. The ongoing conflict in the region complicates the environmental impact. The Rubymar could leak 7,000 barrels of oil, posing risks similar to the Wakashio spill in 2020.

Yemen's prime minister called it an unprecedented environmental disaster, and U.S. Central Command warned of an impending environmental catastrophe. Houthi rebels targeting ships in the Red Sea exacerbates the issue, impacting a critical waterway for energy shipments.

The Red Sea is essential for food, especially in Yemen, where fishing was a major export. The spill affects fish, making them inedible, and poses risks to reproduction. Drinking water safety is a concern for Saudi Arabia, relying on desalination plants.

The fertilizer on the ship adds complexity, potentially causing algae blooms and "dead zones." The Red Sea's circular water patterns could worsen the spill's impact. Ian Ralby, a maritime security expert, fears more significant disasters with fewer container ships using the Red Sea lanes.

Poorly maintained vessels, oil tankers, and bulk carriers pose increased environmental risks. The spill's consequences could be long-lasting, threatening the Red Sea's ecosystems and exacerbating existing challenges in the region.