Red Sea Attack: UKMTO Confirms Explosions Inland

The UKMTO confirmed via X that there had been an attack in the Bab el-Mandeb on Monday night. The organization reported that there was a fire onboard the vessel and that all crew were safe. Later, the UKMTO reported that an organization claiming to be “the Yemeni Navy” ordered a vessel to change course and dock in Yemen. These reports come as attacks on shipping in the Red Sea have ramped up, with attacks reported on a near-weekly basis and becoming increasingly frequent. Both France and the United States have been involved in interceptions in the Red Sea recently, with the United States increasing its presence after the Houthis fired missiles toward Israel last month. After several successful interceptions of Houthi missiles, the Houthis changed tack and began seizing ships. They announced on December 9 that all ships sailing to Israel are banned from the Red and Arabian Sea. White House National Security Adviser Jon Finer directly accused Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of providing weaponry and intelligence to the Houthis. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian essentially confirmed Iran’s involvement in the Red Sea attacks, saying that at any moment there could be a “big explosion in the region,” while pointing to the various attacks on US bases and Red Sea shipping. Local sources report explosions heard inland near Houthi camp in Al-Hawban in the Taiz Governate, as well as the sound of aircraft. Israel was reported to have struck Houthi targets in Yemen on December 1, by the the Saudi al-Hadath TV, however, senior Houthi officials denied this saying it was caused by the detonation of old munitions. Al-Hadath reported soon after the explosion was heard in Al-Hawban, that the Joint forces were coordinating with Saudi Arabia to “protect and secure the sea corridor in the Red Sea.” They also reported that a Saudi Military delegation had been met in Mokha by a member of the Presidential Leadership Council with the purpose of increasing Yemen’s maritime security. A spokesperson for the internationally recognized Yemeni government said that the Houthis were merely using the Israel-Hamas war as a pretext to spread more chaos at the expense of the people of Yemen.