Creating new perspectives since 2009

Yemen’s Houthis used ‘new weapons’ in latest Red Sea operation 

June 20, 2024 at 12:32 pm

Huthi military spokesman Brigadier Yahya Saree speaks at a press conference in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, on 31 December, 2018 [MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images]

Yemen’s Houthi-aligned armed forces announced yesterday that it had used “new weapons” to target and sink the cargo ship MV Tutor in the Red Sea last week. This announcement, made by the naval forces, was broadcast on Al-Masirah TV channel. Footage of the fatal attack has since circulated on social media.

The statement indicated that “several naval weapons were used to target and sink the Tutor, including some that were used for the first time,” though no further details were provided.

On Tuesday, the British Navy confirmed that the MV Tutor, belonging to a Greek-owned company, had sunk following a drone attack by the Houthis on 12 June. White House national security spokesman, John Kirby, also said on Monday that the attack killed “a crew member who hailed from the Philippines.”

The Houthis claimed the ship was targeted for violating their ban on entering the occupied Haifa port and for turning off its Automatic Identification System while transiting the Red Sea.

READ: Salvage firm confirms sinking of Greek-owned ‘Tutor’ struck by Houthis

The Sanaa authorities have warned maritime companies to heed their restrictions, stressing that these companies “are fully responsible for the safety of their ships and crews.”

In recent months, the Yemeni armed forces have targeted ships linked to Israel in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden with missiles and drones, in solidarity with Gaza amid the ongoing genocide being carried out by the US-backed Israeli military. Additionally, the Houthis declared all US and British ships as military targets in response to US and UK airstrikes on Yemen.

A report by the Wall Street Journal, citing Western and Yemeni officials, detailed how Sanaa has maintained its military capabilities. The Houthis have reportedly developed new routes through Djibouti for transferring weapons from Iran, bypassing traditional methods. Furthermore, Lebanon has become a hub for acquiring Chinese-made drone spare parts.

READ: Philippine captain vows to return to sea after Houthi attack