US Military Says Destroyed Seven Drones, Vehicle In Yemen

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) WASHINGTON - American forces destroyed seven drones and a control station vehicle in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen over the past 24 hours, the US military said on Friday.

The strikes were carried out because the drones and the vehicle "presented an imminent threat to US coalition forces and merchant vessels in the region," the US Central Command said in a statement on social media platform X.

The Iran-backed Houthis have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November 2023 in attacks they say are in solidarity with Palestinians during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree claimed responsibility for attacks on four vessels, including a "direct hit" on the Delonix tanker in the Red Sea after an operation involving a number of ballistic missiles.

However, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said five missiles were fired on Friday in“close proximity” to this vessel, which it said reported no damage.

The Delonix was located around 277 kilometres northwest of the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeida when it was attacked, according to UKMTO, which is run by Britain's Royal Navy.

The Houthis also claimed attacks on the Waler oil tanker and Johannes Maersk container ship in the Mediterranean Sea and the Ioannis bulk carrier in the Red Sea.

The United States in December announced a maritime security initiative to protect Red Sea shipping from Houthi attacks, which have forced commercial vessels to divert from the route that normally carries 12 percent of global trade.

CENTCOM said its strike on Friday was carried out“to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure”.

“This continued malign and reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Huthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.”

The attacks have sent insurance costs spiraling for vessels transiting the Red Sea and prompted many shipping firms to take the far longer passage around the southern tip of Africa instead.


Jordan Times

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