Houthi Attacks on Ships and UN Staff Raise Tensions in Yemen

Main image to the post Houthi Attacks on Ships and UN Staff Raise Tensions in Yemen

Two cargo ships off Yemen's Aden port caught fire after suspected Houthi rebel attacks, UK maritime agencies reported. The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it received reports of an incident 80 nautical miles southeast of Aden.

Suspicion fell on the Houthi rebels, who have been targeting shipping in the area for months with missiles and drones. The British security firm Ambrey confirmed a cargo vessel from Antigua and Barbuda was hit by a missile 83 nautical miles southeast of Aden, causing a fire that was contained.

The UKMTO also received a report of another incident 70 nautical miles southwest of Aden, where a vessel was hit by an unknown projectile, resulting in a fire. Damage control was underway.

No casualties were reported in either incident. The Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for attacks on two merchant ships in the Red Sea with drones and missiles, but there was no independent confirmation.

The rebels have also detained 11 Yemeni employees of UN agencies under uncertain circumstances. The UN is seeking clarification from the Houthi authorities.

The US is planning to further increase economic pressure on the Houthis by blocking their revenue sources, including a $1.5 billion Saudi payment for government employees in militia-held territory.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09