Published On: Fri, Jan 19th, 2024

Ship in Red Sea up in flames after bomb carrying drone strike by Iran-backed Houthi rebels | World | News


A vessel in the Red Sea, situated just 60 nautical miles southeast of Aden, Yemen, fell victim to a drone strike carried out by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, according to a report received by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

The ship’s master conveyed that the Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) hit the port side of the vessel, resulting in a fire onboard.

Swift action by the crew managed to extinguish the flames, preventing further escalation of the situation.

Authorities are now launching an investigation into the origins and motives behind the drone strike, while vessels in the region are being urged to exercise caution and promptly report any suspicious activities to UKMTO.

The ship’s captain “reported there was a fire onboard which has now been extinguished,” it said. “Authorities are investigating.”

Brigadier General Yahya Saree, a military spokesman for the Houthis, identified the ship as the US bulk carrier Genco Picardy. Satellite-tracking data had put that vessel off Saudi Arabia in recent days as it was bound for India.

The Houthis “confirm that a response to the American and British attacks is inevitably coming and that any new attack will not remain without response and punishment”, Brig Gen Saree said in a recorded video address.

Ship ownership data listed the Genco Picardy’s owner as New York City-based Genco Ship Management.

The Houthis say the attacks are aimed at backing Hamas and Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s war on Hamas, but they have frequently targeted vessels with no clear links to Israel.

The US and its allies have carried out three rounds of airstrikes targeting Houthi sites over the last week, to try to deter the militants.

However, the Houthis have launched several attacks in the time since, further imperilling ships travelling on a crucial trade route for cargo and energy shipments moving from Asia and the Middle East toward Europe.

 



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