8 Apr 2024

Yemen's Houthis say they targeted Western ships

6:41 am on 8 April 2024

By Muhammad Al Gebaly, Hatem Maher and Tala Ramadan, for Reuters

SANA'A, YEMEN - JANUARY 14: Houthi followers protest to condemn the U.S.-U.K. during a tribal gathering on January 14, 2024 on the outskirts of Sana'a, Yemen. Houthi followers gathered to protest against the U.S.-U.K. airstrikes on positions in areas under their control. (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

Houthi followers protest to condemn the US and UK during a tribal gathering in Yemen, on 14 January 2024. Photo: Getty Images / Mohammed Hamoud

Houthi forces in Yemen said on Sunday they had launched rockets and drones at British, US and Israeli ships, the latest in a campaign of attacks on shipping in support of Palestinians in the Gaza war.

The Iran-aligned group said it had targeted a British ship and a number of US frigates in the Red Sea, while in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, it had attacked two Israeli vessels heading to Israeli ports.

The operations took place during the past 72 hours, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a televised statement.

He did not give further details of the attacks.

Earlier, British security firm Ambrey said it had received information indicating that a vessel was attacked on Sunday in the Gulf of Aden about 102 nautical miles southwest of Mukalla in Yemen.

"Vessels in the vicinity were advised to exercise caution and report any suspicious activity," the firm said. It did not say who was responsible for the attack or give further details.

In this image obtained from the US Central Command (CENTCOM) on March 6, 2024 shows the Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier after it was hit by anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) launched from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The United States on March 6, vowed to hold Yemen's Huthi rebels accountable for a strike on a bulk carrier that killed two people, apparently the first fatalities in the insurgents' attacks on shipping.
"We will continue to hold them accountable. We call on governments around the world to do the same," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters. (Photo by Handout / US Central Command (CENTCOM) / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / US Central Command" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Image obtained from the US Central Command (CENTCOM) shows a Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier after it was hit by anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) launched by Houthi rebels on 6 March 2024. File photo. Photo: Handout / US Central Command (CENTCOM) / AFP

Separately, a missile landed near a vessel in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday but there was no damage to the ship or injuries to crew in the incident, 59 nautical miles southwest of the Yemeni port of Aden, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said.

"The master of the vessel reports a missile impacted the water in close proximity to the vessel's port quarter," UKMTO said in an advisory note. "No damage to the vessel reported and crew reported safe," it added.

It did not say who fired the missile or give further details. It was not immediately clear if the attacks reported by the British agencies were the same as the latest incidents claimed by the Houthis.

Houthi attacks have disrupted global shipping through the Suez Canal, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa. The United States and Britain have launched strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.

- Reuters