An American official told Al Jazeera that a commercial ship owned by an American company was attacked from territory it controls Houthi group In Yemen, hours after Washington re-listed the Houthis on the terrorist list.
The American official explained to Al Jazeera that the attack hit the ship, noting that it is not possible to disclose at the present time the weapon used and the potential damages or injuries.
A Yemeni shipping source had told Al Jazeera that Ansar Allah Houthi forces targeted a ship in… The Red Sea.
For its part, the British Maritime Trade Operations Authority announced that it had received a report about an incident 66 nautical miles southeast of Aden, adding in an advisory note that the captain reported that his ship had been attacked by a drone in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Yemen, and he also reported that a fire had broken out on board the ship. Before it was later extinguished, according to the authority.
The new attack comes hours after US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced that Washington had relisted the Houthis in Yemen as a “global terrorist organization.”
Sullivan said that the classification will take effect within 30 days to give us time to reduce the effects of this decision on the Yemeni people, and he explained that if the Houthis stop their attacks in the Red Sea, Washington will consider lifting this classification.
Cutting supply lines
Meanwhile, Bloomberg quoted Western officials as saying that the US-British strikes on the Houthis in Yemen appear to have cut off the main supply lines from Iran to them, at least temporarily.
The website also quoted American and British officials as saying that there has been no attempt to send Iranian military shipments to the Houthis since January 11, through the supply lines that were struck.
While another official stated that the main goal of the strikes is to destroy the Houthis’ ability to quickly restock weapons, even though they receive weapons through multiple routes, including land routes.
The website also reported that some ship insurance companies have begun to avoid covering American and British commercial ships against war risks when they sail in the southern Red Sea.
For its part, the Politico website reported that the European Union's plan to send warships to the Red Sea bypasses the Spanish obstacle, and diplomats were quoted as saying that Spain will not prevent a mission along these lines, although it will not participate in the operation.
The website added, quoting the same sources, that the EU countries want to turn the plan into action no later than the foreign ministers’ meeting on February 19, and indicated that the mission will depend on the current monitoring led by France, as proposed by the Union’s Foreign Affairs Service.
According to a European Union diplomatic document, Politico confirmed that the mission will require, at least, three anti-aircraft destroyers or frigates for the operation, and it is not clear which countries will provide them.
He added that it will take some time as some EU governments will need to involve their parliaments in the process.