March 5, 2024

Houthi Missile Attack Sets Ship on Fire as Middle east Attacks Increase

Houthi militants based in Yemen have claimed responsibility for a missile strike that engulfed a ship in flames in the Gulf of Aden on Monday.

The vessel, identified by the private security firm Ambrey as a Liberia-flagged container ship with purported links to Israel, endured significant damage from two explosions.

The initial blast occurred away from the ship's port quarter, followed by a second explosion that caused harm to the accommodation block and a container, triggering an onboard fire.

Despite the perilous situation, the ship's crew promptly initiated firefighting measures, resulting in no reported injuries.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, a spokesman for the Houthi military, confirmed the attack through a prerecorded statement, identifying the targeted vessel as the MSC Sky II, which operates under the Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co.

Saree alleged a connection between the ship and Israel, indicating that the Houthis would persist in targeting vessels with such affiliations until certain conditions are met.

Since November, the Houthis have engaged in a series of maritime assaults in the Red Sea and its environs.

They attribute their actions to a response against Palestinian casualties incurred during the Israel-Hamas conflict. Their targets have also included ships destined for Iran and humanitarian aid vessels bound for Houthi-controlled regions.

Despite sustained U.S.-led airstrikes, the Houthi insurgency continues to wreak havoc. Recent incidents include the sinking of a cargo ship carrying fertilizer and the destruction of a valuable American drone.

Vital underwater cables essential for global telecommunications have been severed in the Red Sea area, leading to disruptions in data transmission between Asia and Europe.

While the Houthis disavow any involvement in these disruptions, Yemen's exiled government has accused them of orchestrating such attacks as the group's violence causes chaos in the Middle East that is impacting the world.

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