Yemen warns British cargo ship may sink following Houthi attack

Yemen warns British cargo ship may sink following Houthi attack FILE PHOTO
Yemen warns British cargo ship may sink following Houthi attack FILE PHOTO


SANAA, Yemen 

A British container ship is in danger of sinking off Yemen’s western coast after being hit by Houthi missiles earlier this month, a Yemeni official warned Wednesday.

On Feb. 18, the Houthi group announced targeting the cargo ship Rubymar in the Gulf of Aden with several naval missiles, causing severe damage.

Due to strong winds and waves, the ship veered from the Gulf of Aden to off the coast of Mocha overlooking the southern Red Sea, near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, said the official.

In a statement to Anadolu, Al Hudaydah Governor Al-Hassan Taher said the British ship Rubymar veered 16 miles (25.7 kilometers) from the western coast opposite the city of Mocha after being pushed by strong winds and waves, warning of its sinking.

After visiting the location of the ship on Tuesday accompanied by environmental officials and specialists, Taher said the ship “is in a tragic situation and is on the verge of sinking after water leaked into the engine room, which will lead to a major environmental disaster if it sinks.”

He warned that “if this is not avoided, the ship will inevitably sink, leading to an environmental catastrophe for marine life and the residents of Al-Hudaydah province in general, as more than 90% of the population rely on fishing for their livelihood.”

He pointed out that the government is taking measures with the relevant authorities to safely pull the ship out of Yemen’s regional waters.

The Rubymar was targeted by the Houthis while carrying large quantities of ammonia and oil, according to the official Yemeni news agency Saba.

Earlier on Wednesday, the British Embassy in Yemen said on X that “the Houthis are threatening another environmental disaster with the reckless attack on the MV Rubymar. The vessel is now at risk of leaking into the Red Sea. We call on the Houthis to stop their attacks.”

In solidarity with Gaza, which is facing a devastating Israeli war with American support, the Houthis have targeted Israeli cargo ships or those affiliated with them in the Red Sea with missiles and drones, vowing to continue their operations until the end of the war.

After airstrikes by the US and UK on Houthi targets in Yemen and tensions taking a notable escalatory turn in January, the Houthis announced that they consider all American and British ships military targets.

*Writing by Rania Abu Shamala

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