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The UK Ministry of Defence has announced that a British naval vessel, HMS Diamond, successfully intercepted and destroyed a Houthi drone in the Red Sea.
In a statement, the Ministry of Defense said, “Yesterday HMS Diamond successfully repelled a drone attack from the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea.” The statement also confirmed that the vessel and its crew sustained no injuries or damage.
This development comes at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East, mainly due to the ongoing war in Gaza. The Houthis, who have not yet commented on this incident, had previously vowed to target vessels linked to Israel in an effort to pressure the Israeli government to halt its offensive in Gaza and to allow more humanitarian aid into the Palestinian enclave.
The war in Gaza has escalated since October 7, following an attack by Hamas fighters in southern Israel, leading to significant casualties. Israeli forces have since conducted heavy bombardments in Gaza, resulting in thousands of Palestinian deaths, according to Palestinian authorities. Concurrently, Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have disrupted global commerce, prompting some of the world’s largest shipping companies to reroute their vessels, affecting trade between Asia and Europe.
In response to the Houthi activities, the UK and the United States have conducted air raids on Yemen, targeting military positions. Additionally, the US has re-designated the Houthis as a “terrorist” organization, reversing a 2021 decision by President Joe Biden to delist them. The Houthis have expanded their threats to include US and UK-linked vessels in the region.
The Houthi group has been a significant force in Yemen since their offensive in 2014, leading to the displacement of the Yemeni President and his cabinet and triggering a severe air campaign by Saudi Arabia.