Houthi missile attack severely injures sailor, US says

Image caption, The Houthis have been attacking shipping in support of the Palestinians in Gaza
  • Author, George Wright
  • Role, BBC News
  • 1 hour ago

A sailor was severely injured after a cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden was struck by two cruise missiles fired by the Houthis in Yemen, the US military said.

The injured sailor was airlifted to another ship for medical treatment, the US Central Command (CentCom) reported.

It added that crew members were fighting a fire on board the The MV Verbena – a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated ship.

The nationality of the sailor was not released.

The Houthis said they had carried out attacks on three ships within the past 24 hours, including on the MV Verbena, “in retaliation to the crimes committed against our people in the Gaza Strip, and in response to the American-British aggression against our country”.

The armed Houthi group sees itself as part of an Iranian-led “axis of resistance” against Israel, the US and the wider West.

Since November, the rebel group has been carrying out attacks on ships they say are linked to Israel in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, saying their actions are in support of the Palestinians in Gaza.

The US and the UK have carried out a series of attacks on Houthi targets inside Yemen in response, leading the Houthis to retaliate against ships it believes are linked to those countries.

“The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza and yet they are targeting and threatening the lives of third country nationals who have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza,” CentCom said.

The rebels’ attacks on merchant vessels in the Red Sea prompted many shipping companies to stop using the waterway, through which about 12% of global seaborne trade passes.

On Wednesday, the Houthis targeted a Liberian-flagged vessel named Tutor using a sea drone in the Red Sea. No casualties were reported.

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