Houthis Claim 6 Attacks On Israel, US And UK Ships


By Saeed Al-Batati

Yemen’s Houthi militia claimed responsibility for six drone and missile attacks against Israel, as well as US and UK military and commercial ships, in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said on Tuesday that their naval and missile forces fired missiles at the Maersk Saratoga, APL Detroit, Huang Pu, and Pretty Lady ships while cruising in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden over the last 72 hours, claiming that the first and second ships were American and the third and fourth British.

Sarea also claimed to have launched drones at two US Navy warships in the Red Sea and ballistic missiles at targets in the Israeli city of Eilat, promising to continue their assaults on ships until Israel breaks its blockade on the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Despite the Houthis’ assertions that the merchant vessel Huang Pu is British, the US Central Command said it is a Chinese-owned and operated oil tanker sailing under the Panamanian flag, and the Houthis launched five ballistic missiles at it when it was in the Red Sea.

During the last five months, the Houthis have launched hundreds of missiles and drones against international commercial and navy ships in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab Strait, and Gulf of Aden, claiming that their operations are in support of the Palestinian people.

On Sunday, the Houthis claimed that they informed Russia and China that their ships would not be targeted while traveling the Red Sea, and that they would only target Israeli-linked and Israel-bound ships, as well as UK and US ships.

Elisabeth Kendall, a Middle East expert and mistress of Cambridge University’s Girton College, told Arab News that the Houthi assault on the Chinese ships might be the result of outdated or incorrect information, or that they believe the US and UK move commodities via a third party.

“It is also likely that the Houthis believe some UK or US companies are transferring their shipping assets to third parties as a cover strategy to avoid being targeted,” she said.

Kendall added that the Houthis assured Russia and China to send a message that they do not constitute a danger to global maritime navigation and are exclusively targeting Israel and its allies.

“The Houthis wish to demonstrate that their attacks are not a global problem but are targeted to those deemed to be Israel’s major allies,” she said.

Meanwhile, dozens of Yemeni human rights advocates, journalists, members of parliament, and others have signed a petition urging the Iran-backed Houthis to launch an inquiry into the death of a teacher within their Sanaa prison facility.

Yemenis said that Sabri Al-Hakimi, a prominent educationalist at the Ministry of Education, died on Monday in a notorious jail for Houthi Security and Intelligence authorities, six months after his kidnapping.

“We demand that the Sanaa authorities conduct a transparent inquiry into the circumstances of Sabri Al-Hakimi’s death at the Security and Intelligence jail in Sanaa, as well as to have his body examined by a coroner to assist in ascertaining the causes of death,” the petition said.

The Houthis have not formally confirmed Al-Hakimi’s death or explained why he was taken, and he has not been tried.

Al-Hakimi is one of scores of Yemenis who have perished in Houthi prison facilities, mostly in Sanaa.

Last month, Zaydoun Zaid Jahaf died in Sanaa’s Houthi Political Security jail.

In October, Save the Children halted operations in a Houthi-controlled territory after one of its employees died in Houthi custody.

Ten days later, the organization resumed operations after the Houthis refused its request for an inquiry into the worker’s death.

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 *