April 13, 2024

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Yemen Missile Attack: Belize-Flagged Cargo Ship Abandoned – What Happened Next?

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Missile Attack on Belize-Flagged Cargo Ship in Yemen

The recent missile attack on the Belize-flagged, British-registered cargo vessel, Rubymar, in the Gulf of Aden near the Bab al-Mandab Strait, has raised significant concerns about maritime security in the region. The attack, believed to be perpetrated by the Iran-backed Houthi movement, has escalated tensions and prompted responses from various global stakeholders.

Houthi Attacks and Response

The Houthi movement has been launching a series of missile and drone attacks targeting merchant vessels and Western warships in the region, with the recent strike on the Rubymar being one of the most damaging so far. The attacks are claimed to be in support of the Palestinians in the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The UK government has condemned the attacks as “completely unacceptable” and, along with its allies, has expressed the right to respond appropriately. Furthermore, US and British forces have initiated air strikes on military targets in Houthi-controlled areas in western Yemen in response to these attacks.

Impact and Response from Shipping Companies

The repetitive attacks by the Houthi movement have led many shipping companies to reconsider using the critical waterway, which accounts for approximately 12% of global seaborne trade. The situation has prompted concerns about the safety of maritime trade routes and the need for enhanced security measures.

In response to the escalating threats, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency received reports of an explosion near the Yemeni Red Sea port of Mocha, further indicating the severity of the situation and the challenges faced by vessels navigating through these waters.

Global Security Measures and Concerns

The discovery of the Houthi movement’s deployment of both unmanned underwater and surface vessels has raised concerns among security experts. The potential for a “swarm attack” tactic poses a significant threat to the safety of international shipping in the lower Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

As a response to these growing security concerns, EU foreign ministers have approved a mission aimed at protecting international shipping in the Red Sea. This mission involves the participation of ships from France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium, highlighting the international community’s recognition of the urgency to address the escalating threats posed by the Houthi movement.

Key Points:

– The Rubymar, a Belize-flagged cargo ship, was hit by missiles fired by the Houthi movement in the Gulf of Aden, prompting the crew to abandon ship.
– Houthi attacks on merchant vessels and Western warships have raised significant concerns about maritime security in the region, leading to responses from global stakeholders.
– The UK and its allies have condemned the attacks and initiated air strikes on Houthi-controlled areas in western Yemen in response.
– The attacks have prompted shipping companies to reconsider using the critical waterway, leading to concerns about the safety of maritime trade routes and the need for enhanced security measures.
– The discovery of the Houthi movement’s deployment of unmanned underwater and surface vessels has raised concerns about the potential for a “swarm attack” tactic, posing a significant threat to international shipping in the region.
– EU foreign ministers have approved a mission aimed at protecting international shipping in the Red Sea, involving the participation of ships from France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium.

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