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Houthis claim attack on Greek merchant vessel off Yemen

By AFP - May 01,2024 - Last updated at May 01,2024

DUBAI — Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for attacks on Monday along the Red Sea shipping route, including on a Greek commercial vessel, according to a British maritime agency and the US military.

The US Central Command, or CENTCOM, said the Houthis had targeted MV Cyclades, a Greek commercial vessel flying the Maltese flag, with three anti-ship ballistic missiles and three drone strikes.

"Initial reports indicate there were no injuries and the vessel continued on its way," CENTCOM posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Earlier, the UK maritime security agency (UKMTO) reported explosions "in close proximity" to a commercial ship sailing off the Yemeni coast northwest of Mokha.

"Vessel and crew are reported safe," the agency, run by the Royal Navy, added.

Maritime security firm Ambrey said the Malta-flagged container ship was en route from Djibouti to Jeddah and was likely targeted "due to its listed operator's ongoing trade with Israel".

Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for firing at the Cyclades, MSC Orion and two US vessels.

The Iran-backed group, which controls the Yemeni capital Sanaa and much of the country’s Red Sea coast, has launched a flurry of attacks against ships since November.

It says their campaign is in solidarity with Palestinians amid the Gaza war.

CENTCOM also said that US forces shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the Red Sea on Monday morning as it was headed on a flight path “towards USS Philippine Sea and USS Laboon”.

“The UAV presented an imminent threat to US, coalition, and merchant vessels in the region,” it wrote on X, adding that there had been no injuries or damage reported by US forces or nearby commercial ships.

Since January, the United States and Britain have launched repeated strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen in response to the ship attacks.

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