Vessel damaged in drone attack north of Djibouti, says UK agency

By Thomson Reuters Feb 19, 2024 | 5:22 PM

CAIRO (Reuters) – A vessel sustained “superficial damage” after being hit by a drone in the Red Sea, 60 nautical miles north of Djibouti, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said on Monday.

British Maritime Security Firm Ambrey also said early on Tuesday that a Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier was physically damaged by an unmanned aerial vehicle in an incident approximately 60 nautical miles north of Djibouti.

It was unclear if the two incidents reported by UKMTO and Ambrey were related to the same vessel.

The attack resulted in minor damage to the vessel’s accommodation superstructure, UKMTO said in an advisory note.

“The crew are reported to be safe and the vessel is proceeding to its next port of call,” the advisory said.

The Iran-aligned Yemeni Houthis have carried out repeated drone and missile strikes since November in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza war.

The Gaza conflict has spilled over into other parts of the Middle East. Lebanon’s Iran-aligned Hezbollah has traded fire with Israeli troops along the border, and Iraqi-armed groups have attacked U.S. forces in Iraq.

U.S. and British forces have responded with multiple strikes on Houthi facilities but have so far failed to halt the attacks.

(Reporting by Hatem Maher, Adam Makary, Yomna Ehab and Enas Alashray; Editing by Sandra Maler and Stephen Coates)