Houthi Rebels Sink British Ship, First Lost In Attacks

Yemen’s Houthi rebels sank a British cargo vessel after striking it with anti-ship missiles last week. The sinking of the ship in the Red Sea marked the first time the terrorist strikes have put an international vessel on the bottom of the contested waterway.

Government officials reported the attack occurred nearly two weeks ago 35 nautical miles south of al Mukha, Yemen, in the strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

A missile struck the engine room, which forced the crew to immediately abandon ship. The Belize-flagged bulk carrier, the MV Rubymar, began to take on water and soon became the first ship sunk by the Houthis.

The rebels claim their strikes are in retaliation for Israel’s war on Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The Yemeni government, which is under siege by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, confirmed the sinking of the ship. It warned that a major “environmental catastrophe” will follow as the vessel contained over 41,000 tons of fertilizer.

Officials further noted that weather conditions and strong winds led to the demise of the ship.

This echoed the caution in February from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) concerning the missile strikes launched at cargo ships. Officials condemned the attacks and predicted an ecological disaster in the heavily traveled region.

When the ship was struck, a pair of nearby vessels intervened and safely evacuated all 24 crew members.

But in the days that followed, it continued to take on water and list as fertilizer and fuel spilled into the surrounding sea. CENTCOM responded with a forceful statement on the damage done to the local environment.

It read, “The unprovoked and reckless attack by Iran-backed Houthi terrorists caused significant damage to the ship, which caused an 18-mile oil slick.”

It added the rebels “continue to demonstrate a disregard for the regional impact of their indiscriminate attacks, threatening the fishing industry, coastal communities, and imports of food supplies.”

American and British forces responded to a surge in Houthi attacks by striking 18 targets in Yemen in recent days. Officials in Washington confirmed the two militaries hit missiles, launchers, rockets, drones, and air defense systems.

There have been almost daily engagements with the terrorists, including intercepting incoming missiles and drones targeting regional shipping.