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Italian warship downs drone in Red Sea

By AFP - Mar 03,2024 - Last updated at Mar 03,2024

ROME — An Italian navy destroyer shot down a drone that was approaching it in the Red Sea, where Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels are attacking shipping, the defence ministry said.

"In accordance with the principle of legitimate defence, the ship Duilio shot down a drone in the Red Sea" on Saturday, the ministry said in a statement.

"The drone, bearing similar features to those already used in previous attacks, was located six kilometres from the Italian ship and was flying towards it," it added.

The Houthis say they are attacking Israeli-linked shipping in solidarity with war-torn Gaza, where Israel is battling Hamas in a war that has roiled the region since erupting on October 7.

The unrest has forced several companies to reroute shipments in the commercially vital waterway, driving up delivery times and costs.

Key Israel ally the United States has led reprisal strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen in a bid to quash the attacks, creating an international force to protect shipping.

Italy has pledged to take command of a separate EU naval force in the Red Sea, but parliament must first approve the move and the formal procedures have advanced slowly.


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