Crew Abandons Ship Following Houthi Missile Attack Against Commercial British Vessel

What to Know:

The Houthis have claimed responsibility for an anti-ship missile attack against the Belize-flagged, British-registered cargo ship “Rubymar” near the Bab al-Mandab Strait last night. According to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), the crew abandoned ship due to damage sustained during the attack.

The Attack:

An announcement made by military spokesman Yahya Sarea reported that Houthi forces carried out a “military operation, targeting a British ship in the Gulf of Aden, “RUBYMAR,” with a number of appropriate naval missiles.”

“The ship suffered catastrophic damages and came to a complete halt” and “as a result of the extensive damage the ship suffered, it is now at risk of potential sinking in the Gulf of Aden.”

“During the operation, we made sure that the ship’s crew exited safely,” Sarea added.

According to the British maritime security firm Ambrey, the crew were rescued by a nearby Singaporean-flagged container ship. There were no reports of casualties amongst the crew of the Rubymar.

Why it Matters:

Despite repeated strikes by American and British forces on Houthi missile and explosive drone capabilities, they are still able to carry out frequent attacks against commercial vessels in the region.

The Houthis have maintained that their intent is to target any vessel associated with Israel, whether it be its owner, operator, or recent port of call, adding that attacks “will not stop until the aggression stops and the siege imposed on the steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is lifted.” Likewise, the Houthis have increased the targeting of American and British-operated vessels in response to strikes in Yemen.

The Houthis’ ultimate goal is to apply economic pressure to Israel and countries they believe are aiding Israeli military operations in Gaza by disrupting commercial shipping through the Red Sea, which ultimately impacts shipping heading through the Suez Canal to Europe and North America.

Roughly 12 percent of all traded goods, worth an estimated $1 trillion, pass through the Suez Canal annually. Several major shipping companies have suspended operations in the region, citing security concerns, and have opted to re-route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, extending voyage times by about two weeks and, in turn, increasing freight rates that can impact prices on the consumer end.

According to the Associated Press, citing the the freight booking platform Freightos, the “cost of shipping a standard 40-foot container from Asia to northern Europe has surged from less than $1,500 in mid-December to nearly $5,500 in January 2024. Getting Asian cargoes to the Mediterranean is even costlier: almost $6,800, up from $2,400 in mid-December.”

Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.


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