Yemen's Houthis damage oil tanker, shoot down US drone | Israel's War on Gaza News

The MV Andromeda Star was damaged and an MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down by the Houthis in the latest escalation.

Yemen's Houthis have damaged an oil tanker and shot down another US MQ-9 Reaper drone as they vowed to carry out more attacks against Israel's war on Gaza.

Yahya Saari, a military spokesman for the Iran-aligned group, said in his latest televised video address early Saturday that the “British oil tanker Andromeda Star” was targeted and directly hit by naval missiles in the Red Sea.

The US military confirmed that the group fired three anti-ship ballistic missiles at multiple targets in the Red Sea and damaged the MV Andromeda Star. The vessel was recently sold to a company registered in the Seychelles, Reuters reported.

“MV Andromeda Star reports minor damage but is continuing its voyage,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a post on X, adding that there were no injuries or damage caused by the US-led maritime military coalition. Area facing attacks from Yemen.

A Houthi military spokesman also said its air defense forces in Yemen also shot down a US military MQ-9 Reaper attack drone in the airspace of Saada Governorate with a missile.

The US military has not commented on the drone, but US broadcaster CBS News confirmed the $30 million MQ-9 had “crashed” inside Yemen early Friday and said an investigation was underway.

It was the third US attack drone shot down by the Houthis since the start of the war on Gaza, the first was downed in November, followed by another in February.

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The Yemeni group did not comment on further attacks on ships in its nearby waterways, but the US military said Houthi-launched anti-ship missiles also targeted the Antigua/Barbados-flagged, Liberian-operated vessel MV MAISHA. No damage was reported.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) also confirmed two attacks on a vessel – which appears to be the MV Andromeda Star – 14 nautical miles (26 km) southwest of Al-Muqa (Mocha) in Yemen.

It said the first explosion occurred “in close proximity” to the ship and a second attack, believed to be two missiles, damaged the ship.

The Houthi army announced on Friday that it had targeted the “Israeli ship MSC Darwin” in the Gulf of Aden, firing multiple missiles and drones at targets in the southern Israeli port city of Eilat.

On Thursday, the group attacked the US-flagged, owned and operated Maersk Yorktown, along with the Israeli-affiliated vessel MSC Veracruz, which was guarded by US and UK warships.

The renewed military activity by the Yemeni group comes after weeks of relative lull when the number of attacks dropped.

Translation: On the third day after 200 days of war, Al-Sabeen Square in the capital Sana'a was filled with renewed loyalty and support for Gaza at a “Gaza, Pride and Mobilization” march.

But the group's leader, Abdel-Malik al-Houthi, in a speech on Friday rejected the notion that the low number of attacks was related to weak military capabilities and promised more attacks would come.

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In a televised address to crowds of demonstrators in the capital Sanaa and elsewhere, he said “a new arena of conflict” had opened as the Houthis were now also targeting ships in the Indian Ocean.

The Houthis are demanding an end to Israel's war on Gaza, which the Houthis say will halt attacks on one of the world's busiest sea lanes. The Houthi attacks have disrupted global trade and disrupted traffic at Israel's Eilat port.

People in Yemen's Houthi-controlled areas have been protesting in large numbers every Friday since the start of the war to show solidarity with the Palestinians and condemn Israel and its Western allies.

The Houthis initially targeted only Israeli-affiliated ships passing through the Bab al-Mandeb strait, but expanded to include US and UK ships after Washington and London launched attacks on Yemen.

Houthi-run media reported that “millions” took to the streets in governorates across Yemen as of Friday.

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