Houthis hit vessel in Red Sea

Houthis hit vessel in Red Sea


A merchant vessel has been damaged in a missile strike in the Red Sea off Yemen, as Houthi rebels threatened to expand their attacks on shipping.

The crew of the affected vessel was not injured and the vessel continued its journey, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said.

“The vessel has sustained some damage,” the UKMTO said.

The Houthis did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack, which comes as its leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, said the group’s operations targeting vessels will escalate to prevent Israel-linked ships from passing through the Indian Ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

“Our main battle is to prevent ships linked to the Israeli enemy from passing through not only the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but also the Indian Ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope. This is a major step and we have begun to implement our operations related to it,” al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Thursday.

The Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November in what they say is a campaign of solidarity with Palestinians and against Israel’s continuing war on Gaza.

The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around Southern Africa, and stoked fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spread to destabilise the wider Middle East.

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