Two killed in Houthi missile attack on US cargo ship, say officials as survivors ‘forced to abandon vessel’

Two killed in Houthi missile attack on US cargo ship, say officials as survivors ‘forced to abandon vessel’

THREE people have died following a missile attack by Houthi rebels on a cargo ship off southern Yemen, according to US officials.

It is the first fatal attack in a campaign launched by the Iran-aligned Yemeni group in November over the ongoing war in Gaza.

This image obtained from the US Central Command today shows the Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier after it was hit

5

This image obtained from the US Central Command today shows the Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier after it was hitCredit: AFP

The Houthis have been relentlessly targeting ships in the Red Sea

5

The Houthis have been relentlessly targeting ships in the Red SeaCredit: Getty

Barbados-flagged bulk carrier vessel True Confidence, in Ravenna, Italy in 2022

5

Barbados-flagged bulk carrier vessel True Confidence, in Ravenna, Italy in 2022Credit: Reuters

Greek-owned, Barbados-flagged freighter True Confidence was struck in the Gulf of Aden and survivors were forced to abandon the vessel in lifeboats, a US official said today.

It was initially thought that two crew members were killed and six were wounded.

Three searfarers are now understood to have died, according to the US Central Command.

The extent of the damage to the vessel is unclear.

United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said today: “UKMTO has received a report of an incident 54NM southwest of Aden, Yemen.

“A merchant vessel in position 115542N 0443024E has been hit and has suffered damage. The vessel has been abandoned by the crew and is no longer under command (NUC).”

It added that Coalition Forces were “supporting the vessel and the crew”.

A US warship and the Indian navy were on scene trying to assist in rescue efforts, The Independent reports.

Houthi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree claimed the deadly attack in a pre-recorded message and said the rebels’ missile fire would only stop when “siege on the Palestinian people in Gaza is lifted”.

In a statement shared to X in response to the Houthi claim, Britain’s embassy wrote: “At least two innocent sailors have died. This was the sad but inevitable consequence of the Houthis recklessly firing missiles at international shipping. They must stop.

“Our deepest condolences are with the families of those that have died and those that were wounded.”

Houthi rebels sink British-registered cargo ship in Red Sea attack

A British cargo ship sunk in the Red Sea on Saturday after being attacked by the Iran-backed Houthis.

The ship’s crew also had to “abandon the vessel” following the attack off the coast of Yemen.

Houthi rebels have repeatedly targeted international shipping groups ships in the Red Sea since late last year, purportedly in solidarity with Palestinians amid the ongoing Gaza war.

Several shipping companies have been forced to reroute their vessels passing through the Suez Canal and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait to take a longer alternative route around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.

Such changes have resulted in major delays and impacted companies including SuzukiTeslaBPShellQatar Energy, DHL, FedEx, Adidas, Marks & Spencer, NextPrimarkSainsbury’s, and Target.

And the price of global shipping containers has jumped by more than 300 per cent between November and January.

The US Department of Defence announced in December that a multinational operation to protect trade and ships in the Red Sea was being launched in response to the escalated Houthi attacks.

Who are the Houthis?

THE Houthi rebels are terrorising the Red Sea by launching persistent missile and drone attacks on vessels and warships – 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.

Their warped slogan is “Death to America, Death to Israel, curse the Jews and victory to Islam”.

Why are they attacking ships?

The rebel group has been launching relentless drone and missile attacks on any ships – including warships – they deem to be connected with Israel in solidarity with their ally, Hamas.

However, in reality 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.

The sea assaults have threatened to ignite a full-blown war in the Middle East as intense ripples from Israel’s war in Gaza are felt across the region – with Iran suspected of stoking the chaos.

Houthi attacks in the Red Sea increased 50 per cent between November and December as the rebel group’s chiefs pledged their assaults would continue until Israel stopped its offensive in Gaza.

And despite repeated threats from the West and joint US and UK strikes blitzing their strongholds in Yemen – Iran’s terror proxy appears undeterred.

The Iranian proxy claimed to have downed a US drone near Hodeidah

5

The Iranian proxy claimed to have downed a US drone near HodeidahCredit: EPA

Alleged debris of the US drone is dragged through the water by Houthi rebels

5

Alleged debris of the US drone is dragged through the water by Houthi rebels

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.