13 Jun 2024, 09:15

Huthis claim attack on merchant ship in Red Sea off Yemen

DUBAI, June 13, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels on Wednesday claimed an attack on a merchant ship in the Red Sea, part of an ongoing campaign they say is an act of solidarity with Palestinians.

The Huthis, who are at war with a Saudi-led coalition after ousting the government from Sanaa in 2014, have launched scores of drone and missile attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November.

They have said they are harassing the vital trade route in support of Palestinians during the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement on Wednesday, the rebels said they had carried out a "military operation targeting the Tutor ship in the Red Sea, using a naval drone, aerial drones and ballistic missiles".

The ship was hit about 68 nautical miles (126 kilometres) southwest of the rebel-held port city of Hodeida, maritime security firm Ambrey had said earlier in the day.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which is run by Britain's Royal Navy, said a vessel was "hit on the stern by a small craft" 66 nautical miles southwest of Hodeida.

In a statement, UKMTO said the ship was taking on water and not under the crew's command.

It added that the vessel was "hit for a second time by an unknown airborne projectile" and that military authorities were assisting.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) later said the Tutor had been struck by a Huthi "unmanned surface vessel" that "caused severe flooding and damage to the engine room".

CENTCOM -- which along with British forces has been conducting strikes in rebel-held Yemen in retaliation for the Red Sea attacks -- also said it had destroyed three anti-ship missile launchers and a Huthi drone over the past 24 hours.


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