Explosion Near UK Merchant Vessel in Red Sea off Yemen Raises Concerns

Explosion Near UK Merchant Vessel in Red Sea off Yemen Raises Concerns

An explosion was reported near a UK merchant vessel in the Red Sea, off the coast of Yemen, on Thursday. The incident occurred approximately 19 nautical miles west of the Yemeni port city of Mokha, according to British security firm Ambrey. The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) also confirmed the event, stating that two explosions occurred near a vessel located 27 miles south of Mokha.

Fortunately, no damage was reported, and all crew members were reported safe. The vessel involved in the incident is said to be en route from Europe to the United Arab Emirates and was not transmitting an Automatic Identification System (AIS) signal at the time of the explosion, as reported by Ambrey.

While it remains unclear whether the incidents reported by Ambrey and UKMTO are related, Ambrey noted that the vessel fits the target profile of Yemeni Houthis, who have been known to carry out attacks on ships in the region. The Houthis have been responsible for several drone and missile strikes on ships in the Red Sea’s crucial shipping channels, including the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Gulf of Aden, since November.

The recent escalation of attacks has forced shipping companies to reroute cargo through longer and more costly routes, raising concerns about the safety of maritime trade in the region. The U.S. military reported successfully intercepting eight drones and two uncrewed surface vessels launched by the Houthis in the past 24 hours, along with one anti-ship ballistic missile over the Red Sea. Thankfully, there were no reported injuries or damage to ships.

The actions of the Houthi militia, aligned with Iran and claiming solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, have heightened tensions and contributed to regional instability, prompting fears of broader conflict escalation in the Middle East.

Sources By Agencies

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