Middle east

New Houthi attacks on two ships with missiles and gunfire

In a new escalation, the Houthi militias attacked two ships on Sunday, one southwest of Aden and the other southeast of Aden.

British maritime security company Ambrey reported on Sunday that a cargo ship flying the flag of Antigua and Barbuda was hit by a missile 83 nautical miles southeast of Aden, Yemen, adding that a fire broke out on board but was brought under control.

Earlier, the British United Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it received a report from a ship captain about an incident 80 nautical miles southeast of Aden, Yemen.

The agency also reported receiving a report from another ship captain about an incident 70 nautical miles southwest of Aden, leading to a fire on board after being hit by a projectile.

The Houthi group, allied with Iran, has been attacking ships off their coast for months, claiming they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians fighting Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Ambrey said in an advisory note: “The ship was heading southwest along the Gulf of Aden at a speed of 8.2 knots when it was hit at the forward station by a missile. A fire broke out but was extinguished.”

The note added: “A second missile was seen but did not hit the ship. People on small boats in the area fired at the ship during the incident,” noting that the ship changed course to head to port at an increased speed, with no injuries reported.

The Houthis have conducted drone and missile attacks on the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden, forcing shipping companies since November to take longer and more expensive routes around southern Africa.

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