NewsHouthi announce escalation of conflict at Red Sea, threaten with 'submarine weapons'

Houthi announce escalation of conflict at Red Sea, threaten with 'submarine weapons'

A screen displays Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea TV statement over fresh attacks on ships, in Sana'a, Yemen, 22 February 2024. Yemen's Houthis have conducted three missile attacks, including targeting a US destroyer in the Red Sea, the British Islander ship in the Gulf of Aden and Israel's Eilat, according to Sarea. The attacks came amid the escalation of the group's attacks on shipping lanes in the region since its designation as a terrorist group by the United States went into effect on 16 February. The US-led coalition continues to strike Houthi targets in war-torn Yemen as it seeks to degrade the Houthis' abilities to attack commercial shipping vessels amid high tensions in the Middle East. The US Department of Defense announced in December 2023 a multinational operation to safeguard trade and protect ships in the Red Sea in response to the escalation of Houthi attacks. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB Dostawca: PAP/EPA.
A screen displays Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea TV statement over fresh attacks on ships, in Sana'a, Yemen, 22 February 2024. Yemen's Houthis have conducted three missile attacks, including targeting a US destroyer in the Red Sea, the British Islander ship in the Gulf of Aden and Israel's Eilat, according to Sarea. The attacks came amid the escalation of the group's attacks on shipping lanes in the region since its designation as a terrorist group by the United States went into effect on 16 February. The US-led coalition continues to strike Houthi targets in war-torn Yemen as it seeks to degrade the Houthis' abilities to attack commercial shipping vessels amid high tensions in the Middle East. The US Department of Defense announced in December 2023 a multinational operation to safeguard trade and protect ships in the Red Sea in response to the escalation of Houthi attacks. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB Dostawca: PAP/EPA.
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/YAHYA ARHAB
1:54 PM EST, February 23, 2024

One ship is close to sinking, another is heading to port after a fire. Yemen's Huthis have issued a "ban" on vessels belonging to Israel, the US and Britain entering the Red Sea.

Houthi attack British cargo ship

Trade Operations Center of Britain announced on Thursday that a cargo ship was struck by two missiles in the Gulf of Aden, leading to a fire and slight damage. The Associated Press reports that the ship involved is a British Palau-flagged vessel called "Islander."

The Iranian-backed Hothti, who have controlled most of Yemen for nearly 10 years, have been launching repeated drone and missile attacks on merchant ships and warships in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait since November. U.S. and British forces have responded with a number of attacks on Huti facilities, but have so far failed to stop these Iran-backed Yemeni rebels.

Submarine weapons as a response

According to Reuters, a post on social media site X by a Houthi spokesperson followed closely after the group's leader announced an escalation in attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and surrounding waters, utilizing new "submarine weapons," as a response to Israel's military actions in the Gaza Strip.

Recent actions by the rebels in attacking ships suggest a change in the Houthis' strategy, moving from targeting shipments associated with Israel to conducting more indiscriminate assaults. Consequently, this represents a significant risk to a crucial maritime route essential for the transportation of cargo and energy from Asia and the Middle East to Europe.

Houthi militants have used cruise munitions, surface drones, and ballistic and cruise missiles to attack merchant fleet vessels and coalition ships. Much of the weaponry was smuggled in from Iran, which should come as no surprise. By contrast, according to the U.S. Navy, the portfolio of armaments supplied to the Huthis has expanded to include a new type of weapon - underwater drones (UUVs).

Source: Reuters

Source:EssaNews
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