Suspected missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels damages ship in Red Sea

April 30, 2024 by No Comments

A suspected missile attack by damaged a ship in the Red Sea on Monday, authorities said, the latest assault in their campaign against international shipping in the crucial maritime route.The attack happened off the coast of Mokha, Yemen, the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said. The ship sustained damage in the attack, the UKMTO said, though its crew was safe and heading to its next port of call. The agency urged vessels to exercise caution in the area.There was “an explosion in close proximity to a merchant vessel,” the UKMTO said. “Vessel and crew are reported safe.”The private security firm Ambrey said a salvo of three missiles targeted a Malta-flagged container ship traveling from Djibouti onward to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.”The vessel was targeted due to its listed operator’s ongoing trade with Israel,” Ambrey said.CMA CGM, a Marseille, France-based shipper, had its Malta-flagged CMA CGM Manta Ray due to sail to Jeddah from Djibouti on Monday. However, the shipper said the vessel remained at harbor in Djibouti and could not have been targeted in the incident.In a statement released late Monday, the Houthis said: “The Yemeni Armed Forces carried out military operations against hostile warships in the , of which two American warships were targeted with a number of drones.”The statement said the attacks on ships would not stop “unless the siege is lifted and the aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is stopped.”Meanwhile Monday, the Italian Defense Ministry said its frigate Virgino Fasan shot down a Houthi drone that morning near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.”A missile exploded in the water in the vicinity of the escorted vessel, causing only minor superficial damage,” the Italian Defense Ministry said, not identifying the commercial vessel being escorted. “The frigate Fasan and the protected merchant vessel are continuing their southward route as planned to exit the Red Sea.”