SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Explosions reported in Red Sea shipping lane off Yemen coast

 Explosions in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen were reported on Tuesday after sightings of unmanned aircraft and missiles in two separate incidents, a British maritime authority said.

Two unmanned aircraft were observed before two explosions occurred 5 nautical miles from a vessel located 50 nautical miles west of Hodeidah on Yemen’s west coast, United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations authority said in an advisory.

In an apparent separate incident, an explosion was heard and missiles were seen 4 nautical miles from a vessel 60 nautical miles from Hodeidah, the authority said. Another explosion was reported to have occurred 0.5 nautical miles from the same vessel, it said.

It was not immediately clear if the incidents involved the same vessel, which the authority did not identify. Cargo details or an indication of where the vessel or vessels were sailing to or had sailed from were also not disclosed.

In both incidents the vessel and crew were reported to be safe.

The British authority did not say from where the reported drones or missiles originated and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The reported incidents come a week after the United States announced a multinational maritime security initiative in the Red Sea in response to attacks on vessels by Yemen’s Houthis.

The Iran-backed Houthi militia has attacked commercial vessels in the Red Sea since October, a campaign the group says is in solidarity with Palestinians besieged by Israel in Gaza.

The group has said it is seeking to attack Israeli-linked vessels and those heading to Israel, warning shipping companies against dealing with Israeli ports. Several shipping lines have suspended operations through the Red Sea waterway in response to the attacks, instead taking the longer journey around Africa.

The Houthis have vowed to continue their attacks until Israel halts the conflict in Gaza and warned that it would attack U.S. warships if the militia group itself was targeted.

The Houthis control vast amounts of territory in Yemen after years of war and have since fired drones and missiles towards southern Israel.

    Source:
  • Reuters