London, February 19: The crew of a commercial vessel in the Gulf of Aden abandoned its ship after an attack claimed by Houthi rebels of Yemen, authorities said, according to a media report. A Houthi military spokesman said that Rubymar, the Belize-flagged, British-registered cargo ship, was at risk of sinking after being hit by missiles, BBC reported.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations agency said an unnamed ship was abandoned off Yemen after being damaged by a blast. Lloyd's List Intelligence reported that the Rubymar was hit by two missiles, BBC reported. Houthis Fire Anti-Ship Cruise Missile Toward Red Sea, Shot Down by USS Gravely.

The Iran-backed Houthis have launched dozens of missile and drone attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since mid-November, in what they say is a show of support for the Palestinians in the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The attacks have prompted many shipping companies to stop using the critical waterway, which accounts for about 12 per cent of global seaborne trade. In response, US and British forces began carrying out air strikes on targets across Houthi-controlled western Yemen last month. Red Sea Crisis: US Army Confirms Airstrikes on Houthi Targets in Yemen's Hodeidah.

British maritime security firm Ambrey separately reported that a Belize-flagged, British-registered and Lebanese-operated cargo ship had come under attack in the Bab al-Mandab Strait on Sunday as it sailed northwards, BBC reported.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 19, 2024 09:16 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website