In the latest in a series of strikes by pro-Hamas Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, a missile damaged a commercial ship as it passed Yemen. Rebels supported by Iran have threatened to launch further assaults on US and British ships in the area, severely disrupting global commerce.
The ship was on its way to Suez, reversed direction, and is now returning to port. Two officials from the Greek shipping ministry confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday that the 24-person crew of the Greek-owned bulk tanker MT Zografia had been struck by a missile off the coast of Yemen, confirming previous claims.
In a statement, Yahya Sarea, a military spokesman for the Houthi movement in Yemen, said that the Zografia ship had been “directly attacked” by the group’s naval weapons. Another incident was recorded 100 nautical miles northwest of Saleef by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations. American soldiers neutralized four anti-ship missiles in Yemen on Tuesday, according to the US military. The rockets had endangered both civilian and military boats.
In response to joint attacks on military locations, the Houthis have issued a warning that American and British ships in the Red Sea are now “legitimate targets.” The group’s spokesman, Nasruldeen Amer, stated that it was prepared to use military force against Western ships.
Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, has declined to say whether or not the country would launch more attacks and has denied that it consulted parliament before taking military action abroad. He assured the public that last week’s strikes were an isolated incident and that the United Kingdom would not hesitate to defend its interests and security if provoked.
There are fears that an ongoing escalation may affect the UK’s and the world’s economy. Shipping firms now choose to circumvent the Red Sea and go around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, which usually adds seven to twenty days to voyages, which increases the price of everything being shipped.