Filipino sailor killed in Houthi attack on cargo ship: White House

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A Filipino sailor was killed when Yemen’s Houthis attacked a bulk cargo carrier last week, the White House said Monday, condemning their actions as terrorism.

The Iran-backed Houthis have launched dozens of drone and missile strikes in the vital shipping zones of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden since November, describing them as retaliation for the Israel-Hamas war.

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But National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Filipino seaman killed was on the M/V Tutor, a Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned ship that had “nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza.”

The vessel suffered serious flooding and was abandoned after it was struck by a sea drone off Houthi-held Hodeida on Wednesday, according to a security agency operated by the British navy.

Kirby also said that a Sri Lankan crew member was critically wounded in a separate Houthi attack on Thursday on the M/V Verbena, a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated ship.

“This is pure terrorism. There’s simply no other word for it. The Houthi claim of supporting Gazans is meritless,” Kirby told reporters.

He also referenced newly announced US sanctions that the State Department said will target three individuals and six entities involved in the Houthi’s weapons procurement network.

The State Department said Monday the sanctions targets “have enabled Houthi forces to generate revenue and acquire a range of materials needed to manufacture the advanced weaponry they use to conduct ongoing terrorist attacks against US and allied interests.”

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