Suspected Houthi Rebel Missile Sets Cargo Ship Ablaze

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  • A suspected missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels set a ship ablaze in the Gulf of Aden.
  • This appeared to be another Houthi attack near the port city of Eilat, authorities said.
  • The attacks come as the rebels escalate their assaults over Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

A cargo ship was set on fire off the southern coast of Yemen after being struck in a missile attack on Thursday that has prompted US-led naval forces to respond, reports Independent.

Ship on fire in Gulf of Aden after missile attack

The cargo ship was en route to Egypt from Thailand, according to maritime security firm Ambrey and ship tracking data. US-led coalition forces are responding to the incident, which involved two missiles being fired at the ship some 70 nautical miles southeast of Aden, Yemen, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said.

Iran-aligned Houthi militants in Yemen have launched repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab Strait and Gulf of Aden since November. The Houthis have said they are acting out of support for Palestinians in Gaza. US and British forces in January began retaliatory strikes on Houthi facilities.

No ships have been sunk nor crew killed in the Houthi attacks, however there are concerns about the fate of the cargo vessel which was struck on Feb 18. The Houthis said the vessel was at risk of sinking but a US defence official said as of Thursday the ship remained afloat.

Such attacks are disrupting a route which accounts for about 12% of global maritime traffic and forcing firms to take a longer, more expensive route around Africa.

If anything, Houthis attacks on cargo ships are intensifying in the Red Sea and around the Gulf of Aden,” Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM wrote in a note on Tuesday.

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Source: Independent