Houthis Step Up Attacks on Ships Over Wide Area

The pro-Iranian group has attacked six ships in the Red, Arabian, and Mediterranean seas in recent days

A pro-Iranian group of Yemeni Shiite Houthis managed to shoot down a US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone (pictured) in Ma’rib province in southeastern Yemen. Yahya Sare’e, a military spokesman for the Houthis, stated this in a statement on local television, according to which “it was the sixth drone of this type shot down by the group.” In addition to a very high cost of over $30 million dollars, the MQ-9 Reaper contains many advanced technologies. For this reason, the aircraft “will soon be delivered to Iran for technical and technological analysis.”

Meanwhile, the Houthis have stepped up missile strikes on merchant ships traveling along the Yemeni coast, as well as in other areas far enough away from territories controlled by the pro-Iranian Yemeni group. The Houthis said they attacked six ships in the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Mediterranean Sea “in the context of expanding the fourth phase of military operations in support of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.” Among the affected ships is also the Marshall Islands-flagged Laax, a dry cargo ship that was damaged after a missile attack by the Houthis off the coast of Yemen on May 28. The Shiite group also launched attacks on the ships Morea and Sea Lady in the Red Sea, the Alba and Maersk Hartford in the Arabian Sea, and finally the Greek-flagged oil tanker Minerva Antonia, which, however, still managed to reach the Egyptian oil terminal of Ain Sukhna after being attacked in the Mediterranean Sea with four missiles.