Houthi Rebels Sink British Ship In the Red Sea

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have finally sunk their first merchant vessel in the Red Sea.

The Rubymar, a British-owned merchant ship, was attacked earlier in February and hit with a missile. The ship continued to sail on but slowly gained water. After becoming too heavy to sail, the crew was rescued and the ship sank.

The sinking causes concern for an ecological disaster, as the vessel was carrying 41,000 tons of fertilizer, and also caused an 18-mile oil slick in the Red Sea. However, an ecological catastrophe seems to be the least of concerns for Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

The rebels have shown no signs of backing off of their attacks, promising to continue shooting missiles at ships that enter the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden. Hussein al-Ezzias, a spokesman for the rebel group, vowed to continue attacks and even called the United Kingdom a “rogue state” and accused it of sponsoring crimes against the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza through Israel’s current war there.

Yemen has been in a state of civil war since 2014 when Houthi rebels took over the capital of Sanaa in the country’s west. The war has been part of a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which interfaces with larger international alliances, as Saudi Arabia is traditionally allied with the United States and Iran is allied with Russia and China.

However, Israel’s war in Gaza has thrown a monkey wrench into regional diplomatic affairs in the Middle East, as even traditional U.S. allies have denounced Israel and called for the United States to demand a ceasefire in Gaza. Using the situation to wreak further havoc, Iran-allied Houthi rebels are shooting on Western ships that pass through the Gulf of Aden as they claim it is their show of support for the people in Gaza.

Houthis have been firing routinely on ships that pass through their waters since the shocking Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel, which killed 1,139 Israelis and left many more in hostage situations with the Hamas terrorists.

There has been some speculation that perhaps British or American soldiers might eventually put boots on the ground in Yemen to push the Houthis back and protect international trade. Although that scenario currently seems unlikely, U.S. and British forces have responded to the attacks by using fighter jets to strike 18 Houthi targets in Yemen, making it the fourth time the U.S. and British forces have attacked the Houthis since mid-January.