Another cargo ship hit by MISSILE in flashpoint Red Sea off Yemen coast after UK threatens more airstrikes on Houthis
A MISSILE fired from Yemen has hit a Greek-owned cargo ship in the Red Sea.
The incident took place 100 nautical miles west of Yemen’s Saleef, United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) said.
British maritime security firm Ambrey said the vessel, which is Malta-flagged, was reportedly impacted by the missile.
The vessel was transiting northbound at the time of the attack.
Authorities are currently investigating the incident, UKMTO added.
Vessels have been advised to transit with caution and report any suspicious activity.
The attack comes after the Iran-backed Houthis hit a US-owned cargo ship after firing a three-rocket barrage on Monday.
Who are the Houthis?
THE Houthi rebels are terrorising vessels in the Red Sea and now their bases were blitzed in US and UK strikes – but who are they?
The Shia militant group, which now controls most of Yemen, spent over a decade being largely ignored by the world.
However, since the outbreak of the Israel-Gaza war they sprung from relative obscurity to holding roughly £1trillion of world trade hostage – turning one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes into an active warzone.
Why are they attacking ships?
The rebel group has been launching relentless drone and missile attacks on any ships they deem to be connected with Israel in solidarity with their ally Hamas.
The sea assaults have threatened to ignite a full-blown war in the Middle East as ripples from Israel’s war in Gaza are felt across the region – with Iran suspected of stoking the chaos.
However, there have been frequent attacks on commercial vessels with little or no link to Israel – forcing global sea traffic to halt operations in the region and sending shipping prices soaring.
Houthi attacks in the Red Sea increased 50 per cent between November and December.
Their slogan is “Death to America, Death to Israel, curse the Jews and victory to Islam”.
And the rebel group’s leaders have previously pledged the attacks will continue until Israel stops its devastating offensive inside Gaza.
On Thursday night, explosions rang out in Yemen and President Biden and PM Rishi Sunak struck over 60 Houthi targets.
The port side of the vessel was hit “from above” by one of the missiles, with the other two failing to reach the sea.
It came just hours after a US warship downed a cruise missile fired by the Houthi rebels.
According to Ambrey, the attack “targeted US interests in response to US military strikes on Houthi military positions in Yemen”.
Following the attack, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Britain would not “hesitate” to launch more strikes against the Iran-backed Houthis.
In a blunt warning to the Houthis, he also said “the threats to shipping must cease” and “illegally detained vessels and crews must be released”.
He went on: “We remain prepared to back our words with actions.”
Threats to trade and fuel prices
HOUTHI rebel attacks are a major blow to world trade — and threaten UK petrol prices.
Warlords with drones from Iran are terrorising vessels sailing to the crucial Suez Canal through a Red Sea straight.
About 12 per cent of global commercial shipping uses the route — and so far more than 2,000 vessels have been forced to divert thousands of miles.
Supertankers carrying fuel to Europe are steering clear of the area in a move that could see us paying more for petrol.
Brent Crude oil cost jumped four per cent after the US and UK retaliation strikes in Yemen.
It hit $80 (£62.83) per barrel for the first time this year.
Car giants Tesla and Volvo have been forced to suspend some production in Europe as they wait for delayed parts.