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Crew Abandons Cargo Ship After Houthi Attack

Red Sea

Attacks on Red Sea shipping from Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis escalated overnight when missiles hit a commercial vessel and forced the crew to evacuate. There are also reports a US drone was knocked out of the sky by an anti-air missile. 

Bloomberg reports missiles hit the engine room of "Rubymar," a Belize-flagged cargo ship sailing through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait connecting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. 

Rubymar reported severe damage after "an explosion in close proximity to the vessel," the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations Center reported.

"Military authorities report crew have abandoned the vessel," UKMTO said, adding, "Vessel at anchor and all crew are safe."

This is the first instance the crew of a commercial vessel has been forced to evacuate due to damage sustained by rebel attacks. 

Yahya Sare'e, the Houthis' spokesperson, warned in a statement that Rubymar is "now at risk of potentially sinking." 

"The ship suffered catastrophic damages and came to a complete halt," Sare'e continued. 

He also said Yemeni air defenses shot down a US General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone in the region "with a suitable missile while it was carrying out hostile missions against our country." 

UKMTO also reports another incident. 

Despite the US and UK having carried out hundreds of attacks on the country in an attempt to neutralize rebels, continued missile and drone attacks on the international shipping lane represent a failure by the collective West to bring peace and safety to the area. 

By Zerohedge.com

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