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Houthis Claim Red Sea Indian Ocean Ship Attacks

Photo : AP

Yemen's Houthi rebels have declared their involvement in a series of ship attacks across the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. This assertion came through a statement issued by the military spokesperson, Yahya Sarea, broadcasted on Houthi-controlled al-Masirah TV. According to Sarea, the attacks targeted three specific vessels: the American-flagged Largo Desert, the Israeli ship MSC Mechela, and the Minerva Lisa.

The Houthi spokesperson went on to detail the nature of these attacks, mentioning a drone strike aimed at two US warships in the Red Sea, emphasizing the accuracy of the strikes. He further articulated that these assaults would persist until Israel halts its operations in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the lack of readily available public information regarding the first two targeted ships, multiple maritime tracking systems have indicated the presence of a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker named Largo Desert. This tanker was reportedly en route from Durban, South Africa to Beira, Mozambique, showcasing its activity within the targeted area.

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Furthermore, it was noted that the Minerva Lisa, identified as a crude oil tanker, had been observed in the Red Sea, as confirmed by online tracking platform Marine Traffic.

This recent series of attacks follows previous claims made by the Houthi group regarding a missile strike on the Israeli vessel Essex in the Mediterranean Sea. These actions are part of a broader initiative initiated by the Houthis in November, involving anti-ship ballistic missile and drone attacks. The purported targets of these assaults are vessels believed to have ties with Israel and traverse the Red Sea, a gesture intended to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians residing in Gaza.

In response to these attacks, a coalition consisting of US and British naval forces stationed in the region has undertaken retaliatory measures since January. These measures include airstrikes and missile strikes targeting Houthi positions in Yemen. However, instead of deterring the Houthi attacks, these actions have seemingly catalyzed an escalation, leading to Houthi assaults extending to include both US and British commercial vessels, as well as naval ships.

May 28, 2024 11:37 a.m. 474

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