Red Sea: UK navy ship shoots down Houthi drone

Red Sea: UK navy ship shoots down Houthi drone
British naval ship HMS Diamond at seaReuters

A British war ship has shot down a Houthi drone targeting a vessel in the Red Sea.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement that HMS Diamond had deployed the missile on Saturday, and no injuries or damage were sustained.

The Iran-backed Houthis have been targeting ships they say are linked to Israel and the West that travel through the Red Sea trade route.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the UK remains “undaunted” by the attacks.

Posting on X, he called the latest attack by the Yemen-based group “illegal”, adding: “Our commitment to protect innocent lives and the freedom of navigation is absolutely unwavering.”

The MoD said in its statement: “These intolerable and illegal acts are completely unacceptable and it is our duty to protect the freedom of navigation in the Red Sea.”

A spokesperson for the MoD confirmed that this is the third incident of this kind with HMS Diamond since December – the first taking place on December 16 and the second on January 10.

The news comes after the Marlin Luanda – a British-linked oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden – was set on fire for several hours after being hit by a missile fired by the Houthis on Friday.

The Houthis said it targeted the vessel in response to “American-British aggression against our country”.

The fire was extinguished with no crew injured after French, Indian and US naval ships provided assistance to the vessel.

Fire in window of the bridge of the naval ship HMS Diamond

Reuters

That strike on the Marlin Luanda came just days after the US and the UK launched a second series of air strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen.

The Houthis have targeted foreign ships in the area since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. They have declared support for Hamas and have said they were targeting ships travelling to Israel.

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Source: bbc.co.uk

By David Ryckman