US warships following attack on UAE ship near Yemen coast

US warships are operating off the Yemeni coast following a guided missile attack against a UAE operated ship by Houthi militias. (File photo: AP)

Three US warships are operating off the Yemeni coast following a guided missile attack against a UAE operated ship by Houthi militias, US Navy Institute News reported on Tuesday.

The ships are on station near the Bab al-Mandeb strait that links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. Officials said the move was prompted by the guided missile attack on the UAE ship that was delivering aid to Yemen on Saturday.

The strait is a key transit route for ships passing from the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal into the Indian Ocean.

The UAE said on Wednesday that there were injuries among civilian crewmen of the vessel that was hit by Houthi militias.

The foreign ministry did not say how many were wounded in the Friday night attack but said they were receiving treatment in the UAE.

The UAE military had previously said there were no casualties in the attack in the busy shipping lane that links the Suez Canal and the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

The ministry identified the vessel as the HSV-2 Swift, a high-speed catamaran which it said had been chartered from the Abu-Dhabi-based National Marine Dredging Company.

It said the ship is “civilian” and “does not have any military capability,” although the vessel has previously been leased by the US Navy and operated with a mixed military-civilian crew.

The ministry condemned the “heinous attack” which it said had “serious repercussions for the freedom of navigation.”
The UN Security Council too strongly condemned the attack in a statement on Tuesday.

“The members of the Security Council take threats to shipping around Bab al-Mandab, a strategically important shipping passage, extremely seriously,” the statement said.

“The members of the Security Council called for such attacks to cease immediately and urged necessary steps to be taken to de-escalate the situation.”

(With AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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