Houthis Claim 2 More Attacks On American Ships

By Victor Winston, updated on February 20, 2024

In a brazen display of aggression, the Iran-backed Houthi terrorists recently launched a missile attack on a civilian ship in the Red Sea.

The MV Rubymar, under both Belize and British registration, suffered catastrophic damage from this assault, marking a troubling escalation in the conflict.

The strike occurred on Sunday, catching the maritime world off guard. The Houthis, leveraging advanced weaponry possibly supplied by Iran, targeted the MV Rubymar, resulting in the vessel nearly sinking. This incident is part of a disturbing trend of attacks, underscoring the Houthis' growing boldness and capability.

Houthi spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree announced on a televised address that the ship Rubymar suffered severe damage from missile strikes, ultimately stopping completely. He warned that due to the ship's heavy damages, there was a real danger it might sink in the Gulf of Aden. Additionally, Saree noted the operation included measures to ensure the ship's crew was evacuated safely, though he did not present any proof of the Houthis taking such safety precautions.

An Escalating Pattern of Aggression

The British government swiftly condemned the attack, terming it "completely unacceptable" and leaving open the option for a proportionate response. However, the attack on the Rubymar wasn’t an isolated incident.

The Houthis boasted about targeting two U.S. ships and also claimed responsibility for additional assaults on the Sea Champion and Navis Fortuna, as well as an American MQ9 aircraft, although the U.S. has not confirmed the latter.

The U.S. Central Command revealed that the MV Rubymar was hit by two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired from Yemen. Fortunately, the crew was evacuated to a nearby port without harm. This attack, however, signals a potential escalation in the conflict, with the U.S. military already conducting "self-defense" strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen.

International Repercussions and Responses

The alleged involvement of Iranian-supplied weaponry, including unmanned underwater vehicles, raises significant concerns about the escalation and internationalization of the conflict. January 17, 2024, had already seen the U.S.-owned Genco Picardy attacked by a Houthi drone, setting a grim precedent for maritime security in the region.

This attack comes on the heels of intercepted arms shipments from Iran to the Houthis, suggesting a direct Iranian role in enabling the Houthis' naval offensive capabilities. The U.S. response, involving "self-defense" strikes, points to an increasingly militarized approach to curbing Houthi aggression, potentially escalating the conflict even further.

In conclusion, the attack on the MV Rubymar underlines the growing threat posed by the Houthi insurgents in the Red Sea and beyond. Their increased reach and sophistication, likely bolstered by Iranian support, pose a regional security challenge and a significant threat to international shipping lanes critical for global commerce.

With both the British and U.S. governments responding firmly, this incident may mark a pivotal moment in the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the broader Middle East.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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