US and Britain attack Houthi port in Yemen Salzburger

US and Britain attack Houthi port in Yemen Salzburger

Following renewed attacks by Houthi rebels on ships off the coast of Yemen, the US military said it had shot down a militia anti-ship missile that was ready to be launched into the country. The objective was the Red Sea, the US regional command Centcom explained on Saturday night on the short messaging service X (formerly Twitter). The Iran-backed Houthis had already fired several missiles at ships in the Gulf of Aden on Friday.

After a Houthi missile attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, the fire on board was extinguished, as announced on Saturday by the Trafigura Group, under whose name the oil tanker was traveling, according to the British news agency PA. The “Marlin Luanda” was attacked on Friday night by rockets from Yemen's militant Islamic Houthi militia and caught fire. According to information, the extinguishing work lasted all night.

The statement praised the efforts of the crew and thanked the support of Indian, French and US warships. The crew is safe. The ship is now on its way to a safe port, she said.

The British government strongly condemned the attack, which the Houthis claimed as their own. “We have made clear that any of these attacks on merchant ships is completely unacceptable and that Britain and its allies have the right to respond appropriately,” said a British government spokesperson.

The missile, which was still on the ground, posed an “imminent threat to U.S. commercial ships and naval vessels in the region,” Centcom said. The US military therefore destroyed them “in self-defense”.

The Houthi Al-Masirah television channel on Saturday reported two US and British airstrikes on the port of Ras Issa in Hodeida province. Yemen's largest oil export port is located there. The Houthis did not provide further details on the extent of the damage; London and Washington did not initially confirm the attacks.

The Houthis had previously fired a missile at the USS Carney. According to Centcom, the bullet was fired.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have attacked several ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in recent months, which they accuse of having links to Israel. The militia sees itself as part of the self-proclaimed “Axis of Resistance” directed against Israel, to which the radical Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip also belongs. In response to the attacks, the US and Britain have repeatedly attacked Houthi positions in Yemen.

The sea route from the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Gulf of Aden to the Indian Ocean is an extremely important route for world trade and passes directly through Yemen. Due to Houthi attacks on container ships, several major shipping companies are already avoiding sailing through the Red Sea, which is causing delays and increasing freight costs due to large diversions.

According to the United Nations World Trade and Development Conference, trade volume through the Suez Canal has fallen by 42% in the last two months. The number of container ships traveling weekly through the Suez Canal is down 67% compared with the previous year, and oil transit is down 18%.