*** ----> Crew abandons cargo ship hit by Houthis: US | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Crew abandons cargo ship hit by Houthis: US

AFP | Washington, United States

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The crew of a bulk cargo carrier that was damaged in a missile attack by Yemen’s Houthis in the Gulf of Aden has abandoned ship, the US military said Saturday.

The Huthis have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November 2023 in attacks they say are in solidarity with Palestinians during the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, severely damaging two ships this week.

The crew of the M/V Verbena -- a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated ship -- issued a distress call because it could not control fires touched off by the attack with two cruise missiles from the Iran-backed rebels on Thursday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

Another cargo ship, the Anna Meta, rescued the crew, CENTCOM said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

“The Iranian frigate IRIN Jamaran was eight nautical miles from M/V Verbena and did not respond to the distress call,” CENTCOM said. The missile attack severely injured a sailor, who was evacuated by US forces.

Another cargo ship, the M/V Tutor, was abandoned after it was struck by a sea drone off the rebel-held city of Hodeida on Wednesday, causing serious flooding, said the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which is run by the British navy.

The vessel is adrift in the Red Sea.

Referring to the Verbena and the Tutor in a statement on Saturday, a Huthi spokesman said the “operations are dedicated... to our brothers fighting in Gaza”.

The group also renewed its “warning to all companies about the consequences of dealing with Israel”.