US military destroys Houthi drone boat

AL-MUKALLA: The US Central Command said that its forces have destroyed an explosive-laden and remotely operated boat in a Houthi-held area of Yemen, as the Yemeni militia reaffirmed threats to increase their Red Sea ship campaign unless Israel ceases its assault in Gaza.


In a statement on X on Wednesday morning, the US military said it destroyed an uncrewed surface vessel at approximately 1:52 p.m. (Sanaa time) on Tuesday in Yemen after determining that it posed a threat to the US and its allies, as well as international commercial and naval ships in international waters off Yemen’s coasts.

It was determined the USV presented an imminent threat to U.S., coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region. These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S., coalition, and merchant vessels,” USCENTCOM said.


In Yemen, the Houthis said that the US and UK conducted one attack on the Red Sea Ras Essa in the western province of Hodeidah on Tuesday but did not specify the target area or the extent of the damage.


During the last seven months, the Houthis have seized a commercial ship, sunk another, and fired hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles, and remotely controlled drones at US, UK, Israeli, and other international ships in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab Strait, and Gulf of Aden. The Houthis claim they solely target Israel-linked and Israel-bound ships to push Israel to let humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip. They also added ships tied to the US and the UK to their list of targets after the two nations launched strikes against areas of Yemen under their control.


On Tuesday, the UK Maritime Trade Operations, which tracks ship attacks, advised ships passing through the Indian Ocean to exercise caution after receiving a report of a drone attacking a commercial ship 170 nautical miles southeast of Yemen’s Socotra island and approximately 300-400 nautical miles southeast of the Horn of Africa overnight on April 26. “The vessel and crew are reported safe and the vessel is proceeding to its next port of call,” the UK agency said.


Similarly, the Houthi Supreme Political Council warned the US on Tuesday against conducting a fresh wave of strikes against regions under their control in punishment for the militia’s recent increase in assaults on ships in the Red Sea. “The consequences of any escalation will not stop at Yemen’s borders, nor will they impact the noble Yemeni stance, the steadfastness of the Yemeni people, or the heroism of the military forces at all levels,” Houthi council members said in a statement.


On Tuesday, Houthi leader Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi issued the same warning to the US, claiming to possess huge military capabilities that would be utilized to counter any future US military strikes. “Do not play with fire. Yemen’s strategic stockpile of deterrent weapons is much much larger than you would imagine,” Al-Houthi said.


The Houthis said this week that they are aware that the US is ready to unleash a fresh round of bombings on Yemeni territories under their control, after the militia’s escalating assault against ships in the Red Sea.

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