Monday, February 26, 2024

US warship shoots down drones as Crimson Sea disaster deepens – POLITICO

An American destroyer intercepted 4 drones fired by Houthi militants into the busy transport lanes of the Crimson Sea, because the escalating disaster noticed two industrial tankers hit in a single chaotic day.

In a assertion issued Sunday, U.S. Central Command stated its navy had “shot down 4 unmanned aerial drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen that had been inbound to the united statesLaboon” the day earlier than. The American destroyer had been patrolling the realm as a part of Operation Prosperity Guardian, the Washington-led mission to forestall violence spilling over into the strategic waterway.

On Saturday, the Pentagon introduced {that a} Japanese-owned, Liberian-flagged chemical tanker, the Chem Pluto, had been struck by a drone within the Indian Ocean, stating that the assault was launched from Iran.

In line with information from analytics platform Kpler, seen by POLITICO, the Chem Pluto had been carrying virtually 43,000 barrels of highly-flammable benzene en path to the port of Mangaluru on the time, however no casualties have been reported. The assault was properly outdoors the same old space of operation for Houthi drones, round 300 nautical miles from the coast of India and it’s believed to be the primary time the U.S. has accused Iran immediately of concentrating on industrial transport for the reason that disaster started.

Washington has beforehand stated intelligence revealed Iran was “deeply concerned” in planning assaults on vessels, working intently with Yemen’s Houthi rebels to trigger a disaster that specialists worry is already threatening the world financial system. Houthi forces say they’re concentrating on vessels with hyperlinks to Israel in retaliation for its warfare in Gaza.

On Saturday night, two civilian ships within the Crimson Sea space sounded the alarm that they had been underneath assault. The Blaamanen, a Norwegian-flagged vessel carrying 1 / 4 of 1,000,000 tons of sunflower oil, reported it had narrowly prevented an assault drone, whereas Indian-flagged crude oil tanker Saibaba confirmed it had taken a direct hit.

Near the Suez Canal which hyperlinks Europe to Asia, greater than 10 p.c of worldwide commerce passes by way of the Crimson Sea, with round 17,000 ships a yr crossing between the Mediterranean and the Arabian Sea.

In his first interview since being appointed as U.Ok. overseas secretary, former British prime minister David Cameron, informed The Telegraph on Friday that the West should ship “an extremely clear message that this escalation is not going to be tolerated” to Tehran. Together with France, Italy and Spain, the U.Ok. is one among a handful of nations becoming a member of forces with the U.S. as a part of Operation Prosperity Guardian.

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