Crew Abandoned Ship After Houthi Attack in Gulf of Aden

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-02-19 07:48 PM UTC



The Ansar Allah (Houthi) group said today its forces targeted a British vessel in the Gulf of Aden and downed a U.S. military drone in Al Hudaydah province to the west of Yemen.


Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea, said in a statement, "Yemeni Naval Forces targeted the British vessel RUBYMAR in the Gulf of Aden, using a number of appropriate naval missiles."


According to Sarea, the attack caused severe damage to the vessel, leading to its complete halt, and it was at risk of sinking in the Gulf of Aden.


The U.K. Maritime Trade Operations agency confirmed the attack and indicated that the crew abandoned a commercial ship off Yemen after being damaged by a blast. Lloyd's List Intelligence reported that two missiles hit the Rubymar.

The U.K. government said current reports suggested there were no casualties resulting from the attack.

The Rubymar's operators are from Lebanon, and its registered owner is Golden Adventure Shipping, with an address in the British port of Southampton.

Other sources pointed out that the attacked ship belonged to a Lebanese company, and its crew consisted of 11 Syrians, six Egyptians, and three Indians.

The Iran-backed Yemeni group has been attacking ships in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Gulf of Aden since November of last year. The group says the assaults are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, which Israel has bombed since October last year.

In the same vein, the Houthi group claimed the downing of an American US MQ-9 Reaper drone with a suitable missile in the western Yemeni province of Al Hudaydah. According to the Houthi military spokesperson, the drone was downed while "conducting hostile operations against Yemen on behalf of the Israeli occupation."


Yesterday, the U.S. Central Command said it launched five strikes on February 17, targeting three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned underwater vessel (UUV), and one unmanned surface vessel (USV) in Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.


The U.S. forces began striking Houthi sites in Yemen on January 12, seeking to degrade the group's military capabilities. However, the Houthis have kept firing more missiles and drones towards targets in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.


In November last year, the Houthi group shot down the American MQ-9 Reaper drone off the coast of Yemen. A military expert at the time told Sheba Intelligence that the Houthis used the Iranian Khordad-3 Air Defense System to down the American aircraft.


The expert added, "The Khordad-3 System is an advanced version of the Iranian Raad aerial defense system. This system shot down the American RQ-4 Global Hawk in 2019 over the Strait of Hormuz."


According to the military expert, the Khordad-3 System is equipped with Tayr-2 and Sayyad-2 missiles, with a range of 25-30 km. such missiles are ideal for hunting drones, and most of their technology is taken from Russian defense systems.