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6 Feb, 2024 13:46

Houthis target UK-owned ship in Red Sea - AP

A vessel traveling through the area was reportedly attacked by a suspected rebel drone, which caused “slight damage” to the vessel
Houthis target UK-owned ship in Red Sea - AP

A British-owned vessel has been attacked by a suspected Houthi drone off the coast of Yemen in the southern region of the Red Sea, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday, citing the UK’s Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) service and a private security firm.

The incident comes amid a continued Houthi militant drone and missile campaign against Western transport and military ships in the Red Sea following the outbreak of the war in Gaza. The militant group has said that it will continue to target vessels belonging to any nations that are “in any way connected” with Israel until the blockade of the Palestinian enclave is lifted.

According to the UKMTO, Tuesday’s attack took place west of the Yemeni port of Hodeidah. The service reported that the master of the ship was “aware of a small craft on his Port side” and claimed that a projectile was fired at his vessel, which passed over the deck, causing “slight damage to the bridge windows.”

A source at the British maritime security firm Ambrey told AP that the ship has been identified as a Barbados-flagged, UK-owned cargo ship, noting that both the crew and the vessel were safe.

Soon after the attack, a spokesman for the Houthi group, Brig. General Yahya Saree, released a statement claiming that the militants have attacked two separate vessels in the Red Sea, an American ship and a British ship called the Morning Tide.

The British firm Furadino Shipping, which owns the Morning Tide, has told AP that their ship was indeed attacked but noted that no one was hurt in the incident and that the vessel was continuing onward to Singapore.

On Saturday, US Central Command reported that its forces, working in conjunction with the UK Navy, had carried out a series of combined air- and sea-launched strikes on as many as 36 Houthi targets at 13 locations across Yemen. The operation was said to have been intended to “degrade Houthi capabilities used to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks on US and UK ships as well as international commercial shipping.”

In response, the Houthis vowed to “meet escalation with escalation.” Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a spokesman for the militant group, wrote in a post on X that Houthi “military operations against the Zionist entity will continue until the aggression against Gaza stops, no matter what sacrifices it costs us.”

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