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At least 50 attacks on ships by Yemen's Houthis

By AFP - Mar 21,2024 - Last updated at Mar 21,2024

WASHINGTON — The Houthi rebels have attacked civilian and military ships sailing off Yemen's shores at least 50 times since their assaults began late last year, a senior US Defence Department official said on Thursday.

The Iran-backed Houthis have been striking merchant vessels transiting the vital Red Sea trade route for months despite repeated US and British air strikes against them.

"In the Red Sea, the Houthis seek to affect this vital channel for global trade with at least 50 attacks against commercial shipping and naval vessels," Assistant Secretary of Defence Celeste Wallander told lawmakers.

The Houthis began attacking ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea in November, a campaign they say is intended to signal solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

They have vowed to strike Israeli, British and American ships, as well as vessels heading to Israeli ports, disrupting traffic through the vital trade route off Yemen's coasts.

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

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