US military destroys three Houthi uncrewed surface vessels in Red Sea

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The US military said on Sunday it had destroyed three Houthi uncrewed surface vessels (USV) in the past 24 hours in the Red Sea as part of a “self-defense engagement”.

“It was determined the USVs presented an imminent threat to US and coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region,” US Central Command said in a post on X.

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Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group has been launching drone and missile strikes in shipping lanes since November, saying that it acts in solidarity with Palestinians in Israel’s war in Gaza.

In dozens of attacks, the Houthis have sunk two vessels, seized another and killed at least three seafarers.

The attacks have also sent insurance costs spiraling for vessels transiting the Red Sea and prompted many shipping firms to take the far longer passage around the southern tip of Africa instead.

The United States in December announced a maritime security initiative to protect Red Sea shipping from Houthi attacks, which have forced commercial vessels to divert from the route that normally carries 12 percent of global trade.

With agencies

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