Published On: Sun, Mar 3rd, 2024

Houthis threaten to keep sinking British ships as Red Sea crisis rages | World | News

Hussein al-Ezzi, the deputy foreign minister in the Houthi-led government, issued a stark warning, declaring that Yemen will persist in sinking more British ships.

Al-Ezzi wrote on X: “Yemen will continue to sink more British ships, and any repercussions or other damages will be added to Britain’s bill.”

He also accused Britain of being a “rogue state” that collaborates with the United States in supporting alleged ongoing crimes against civilians in Gaza.

The latest incident contributing to this escalating maritime crisis involves the sinking of the Rubymar, a ship attacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

The vessel, carrying fertiliser and previously leaked fuel, succumbed to the damages incurred over days of taking on water.

This marks the first ship to be fully destroyed in the Houthi campaign, which has been fuelled by their opposition to Israel‘s actions in the Gaza Strip.

The sinking of the Rubymar poses potential ecological threats to the Red Sea and its coral reefs, adding to the existing disruptions caused by persistent Houthi attacks.

The vital waterway, crucial for cargo and energy shipments between Asia, the Middle East and Europe, has already witnessed significant disturbances with many ships altering their routes.

This incident is anticipated to result in increased detours and higher insurance rates for vessels navigating the Red Sea, potentially impacting global inflation and disrupting aid shipments to the region.

The Belize-flagged Rubymar, struck by a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile on February 18 in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, had been drifting northward before ultimately sinking.

Both Yemen’s internationally recognised government and a regional military official have confirmed the ship’s sinking.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations Centre and the US military’s Central Command also independently acknowledged the Rubymar’s sinking.

Amid the aftermath, the exiled government of Yemen, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, blamed the Houthi militia for the environmental disaster, stressing the ongoing challenges faced by the country due to Houthi actions.

Greenpeace has also expressed concerns about the environmental impact of the Rubymar sinking.

Late on Saturday, a Houthi leader attempted to shift blame to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, linking the ship’s salvage to the entry of relief trucks into Gaza.

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