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    Houthis vow to attack more British ships after Rubimar sank in Persian Gulf

    The British-registered cargo ship Rubymar was carrying fertilizer when it was attacked in February 2024. Photo: Mohammed Hamoud/Al-Jumhuriya via Getty Images

    The Iran-backed Houthis on Sunday vowed to continue attacking British ships in the Gulf of Aden after the sinking of a British-owned ship.

    “Yemen will continue to sink more British ships and any consequences or other damage will be added to the British bill,” Hussein al-Ezzi, deputy foreign minister in the Houthi-led government, said in a message on X.

    < p> “This is a rogue state that is attacking Yemen. and cooperates with America in sponsoring ongoing crimes against civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

    The Rubimar was carrying a cargo of fertilizer when it was attacked on February 18, 2024. It finally sank over the weekend after days in the water and the ship's crew had already evacuated. It is the first ship to be completely destroyed in the Houthi campaign, which it says is driven by Israel's war against Hamas.

    The Houthis have repeatedly launched drones and missiles at international commercial shipping since the mid-2000s. November 2023, declaring that they act in solidarity with the Palestinians.

    Their attacks in the Red Sea disrupted global shipping, forcing companies to reroute longer, more expensive voyages around southern Africa and raising fears that the war between Israel and Hamas could spread and destabilize the entire Middle East.

    Further detours and higher insurance

    The sinking could lead to further detours and higher insurance rates for ships navigating the waterway, potentially increasing global inflation and impacting humanitarian aid supplies to the region.

    Greenpeace also warned of the environmental risk posed by the 21,000 metric tons of fertilizer carried on the ship, which could “upset the balance of marine ecosystems, causing cascading effects throughout the food web.”

    Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Prime Minister Yemen's internationally recognized government, called the sinking of the ship an “unprecedented environmental disaster.”

    “This is a new disaster for our country and our people,” he wrote on X. “Every day today we are paying for the adventures of the Houthis, which are not stopped, plunging Yemen into disaster and war as a result of a coup.”

    The Houthis have held Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, since 2014. Since ousting the internationally recognized government, rebels have since fought a Saudi-led coalition backed by the US and UK in a stalemated war.

    An armed political and religious group defends Yemen's Shiite Muslim minority and claims to be part of Iranian – led the “axis of resistance” to Israel and the West, along with such groups as Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

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