Houthi attack kills three sailors in group’s first fatal strike on shipping | Houthis News

A Houthi-claimed rocket attack on a Greek-operated, Barbados-flagged commercial ship kills three sailors off the coast of Yemen.

At least three seafarers have been killed in a Houthi missile attack on a merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden, the US military said. These are the first fatalities since the Iran-linked Yemeni group began attacks on shipping in one of the world’s busiest. shipping routes about the Israeli war against Gaza.

The Houthis on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the attack, which set the Barbados-flagged Liberian ship True Confidence ablaze about 50 nautical miles (93 kilometers) off the coast of the Yemeni port city of Aden.

The US Army Central Command reported “three fatalities, at least four injuries, three of which are in critical condition” and “significant damage to the ship.”

Two aerial photographs released by the US military showed the ship’s bridge and cargo on board on fire.

“These reckless attacks by the Houthis have disrupted global trade and claimed the lives of international seafarers simply doing their jobs, which are among the world’s toughest jobs and which the global public relies on to maintain supply chains.” the Central Command said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said the ship was no longer under the command of its crew and that they had abandoned it.

Brigadier General Yahya Saree, a military spokesman for the Houthis, claimed the attack in a pre-recorded message, saying the rocket fire had set the ship on fire.

He said the rebel attacks would not stop until the “siege of the Palestinian people in Gaza is lifted.”

After the missile hit, the crew abandoned ship and deployed rescue boats. According to news agency The Associated Press, a US warship and the Indian Navy were on site to assist in rescue efforts. It was unclear how many crew members were on board at the time.

The United Nations called on the Houthis to “cease all attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea,” said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric, expressing serious concerns about the continued attacks, including the latest incident where the status of the crew is unknown .

Dujarric said the attacks pose risks “to property, to life and to the ecology of the area.”

Houthi fighters in Yemen have repeatedly launched drones and missiles against international commercial shipping since mid-November, saying they are acting in solidarity with the Palestinians and in opposition to Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip.

The Houthi attacks have disrupted global shipping, forcing companies to make longer and more expensive voyages across southern Africa.

The True Confidence is owned by Liberia-registered company True Confidence Shipping and operated by Greece-based Third January Maritime, both companies said in their joint statement. They said the ship had no connection to the US.

However, it was previously owned by Oaktree Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based fund that finances ships in installments.

Despite more than a month and a half of US-led airstrikes against the Houthis, the group has remained able to carry out significant attacks.

Those attacks included last month’s attack on a fertilizer cargo ship, the Rubymar, which sank on Saturday after drifting for several days, and the downing of a US drone worth tens of millions of dollars.

A Houthi attack on Tuesday apparently targeted the USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that has been involved in the US campaign against the rebels.

The attack on the Carney involved drones carrying bombs and an anti-tank ballistic missile, the US military’s Central Command said.

The US later launched an airstrike that destroyed three anti-ship missiles and three bomb-carrying drone boats, Central Command said.

Saree, the Houthi military spokesman, acknowledged the attack but said his forces targeted two U.S. warships, without elaborating.

The Houthis “will not stop until the aggression is stopped and the siege on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is lifted,” Saree said.

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