Houthis Vow To Widen Attacks After Targeting Three Cargo Ships


By Saeed Al-Batati

The Houthi militia on Thursday claimed to have struck three cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea with drones and missiles, with its leader later threatening to expand operations until Israel ends its war in Gaza. 

Yahya Sarea, a Houthi military spokesman, said that two vessels, MSC Diego and MSC Gina, were hit with drones and ballistic missiles in the Gulf of Aden, adding that the strikes were “accurate.”

Another ship, MSC Vittoria, was hit twice with missiles, first in the Indian Ocean and then in the Arabian Sea, he said.

Sarea described the three vessels as “Israeli,” and said the militia will expand its maritime assault if Israel continues its onslaught in Gaza.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces are following developments in the Gaza Strip and will not hesitate to escalate their military actions in the face of tyranny against the Palestinian people,” he said.

According to marinetraffic.com, which provides information on ship locations and identities, the MSC Diego is a Panama-flagged cargo ship traveling from Oman to Djibouti, while the MSC Gina is a container ship also flying the Panama flag and sailing from Sri Lanka to Djibouti. 

The MSC Vittoria, a container ship, is traveling under the Panama flag toward India.

The US Central Command said on Wednesday that the three drones and one anti-ship ballistic missile launched over the Gulf of Aden by the Houthis on Monday and Tuesday were either shot down by US and coalition troops, or fell into the sea.

Since November, the Houthis have seized one commercial ship, sunk another, and launched hundreds of ballistic missiles and drones at international commercial and naval ships in international shipping lanes off Yemen’s coast, including the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab Strait and Gulf of Aden.

The militia have recently expanded their campaign to the Indian Ocean. 

The Houthis say that they target Israel-linked ships to compel Israel to allow humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip, and that US and UK ships were added to their list of targets when the two nations launched strikes against parts of Yemen under militia control.

On Thursday, Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi said that his forces had targeted 112 ships in the past seven months and had expanded their campaign to include all ships carrying goods to Israeli ports, regardless of nationality or location.

“Any ship that transferred products to Israeli ports after the ban was enacted would be a target for us, no matter where it is located. For us, there are no red lines that can impede our operations,”  Al-Houthi said in a televised speech.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *