US warship destroys two Houthi drone boats in Red Sea

People step on US and Israeli flags painted on the ground in Sana'a, Yemen
The US have also destroyed seven radars, one drone and two unmanned bomb boats in Yemen in the past 24 hours - YAHYA ARHAB/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The United States has unleashed a wave of attacks on Houthi sites, destroying seven radars, one drone and two unmanned bomb boats in Yemen in the past 24 hours, its military said.

The attacks come days after a Greek-owned vessel was damaged in an attack by Houthi militants and left drifting in the Red Sea.

“These radars allow the Houthis to target maritime vessels and endanger commercial shipping,” US Central Command said on social media.

The US separately destroyed two bomb-laden drone boats in the Red Sea, as well as a drone launched by the Houthis over the waterway, it said.

Houthi troopers standing on US and Israeli flags
The Houthis used a bomb-carrying drone boat to strike a Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk cargo carrier earlier this week - HOUTHIS MEDIA CENTER HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The US Navy faces the most intense combat it has seen since World War II in trying to counter the Houthi campaign, attacks which the rebels say are an act of solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza war.

On Wednesday, the Houthis used a bomb-carrying drone boat to strike a Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk cargo carrier, causing severe flooding and damage to the engine room. One sailor, who is from the Philippines and was believed to be trapped in the engine room, remains missing.

“It just boils down to finding our seafarer who is still onboard,” Hans Leo Cacdac, the Philippines’ migrant workers minister, told a press conference in Manila on Saturday.

Image taken from the bridge of HMS Diamond, seen here firing her Sea Viper missiles in the Red Sea last year
The US Navy faces the most intense combat it has seen since World War II in trying to counter the Houthi campaign - Ships crew

Iran-aligned Houthis claimed responsibility for the missile strike and another vessel, Verbena, in the Gulf of Aden, over the past days. Their attacks also damaged two other ships in the last week, “marking a significant increase in effectiveness,” British security firm Ambrey said.

“This situation cannot go on,” International Maritime Organization Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez said in a statement.

The Houthis’ air and sea campaign has disrupted global shipping, causing delays and costs to cascade through supply chains. At least 65 countries and major energy and shipping companies - including Shell, BP, Maersk and Cosco - have been affected, according to a report by the US Defense Intelligence Agency.

“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,” Central Command said.

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