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[News] Rain of drones intercepted by ships in the Red Sea

(B2) It is a real attack that the ships of the two coalitions, American and European, present in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden had to face on Saturday (March 9).

In the span of a few hours, between 4 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. (local), US and British warships and aircraft intercepted and shot down 28 suicide drones launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen towards the Red Sea and Gulf from Aden, according to a military source. The British ship HMS Richmond shot down two drones using Sea Ceptor missiles. “ The first time this type of weapon has been used by a British ship in combat » reports the British Ministry of Defense.

Four drones shot down by a French frigate

Identical action by the French frigate FS Alsace, which is participating in the European operation ASPIDES which at the same time shot down four kamikaze drones. The frigate which was patrolling the Gulf of Aden detected four combat drones advancing towards it in tactical flight » indicates a press release from the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. “ These drones were destroyed in self-defense by the frigate and French fighters. » Thursday (March 7), an American destroyer had already shot down three drones in the Gulf of Aden.

Two more attacks fail

Merchant ships continue to be targeted. Two anti-ship missiles targeted a merchant ship on Friday (March 8), in the middle of the afternoon (16:14 p.m. local time), while it was 50 nautical miles south-southeast of Aden (12°04 North and 045°23 East). The ship reported two explosions 200 meters from the starboard side of the ship. Apparently without doing any damage. The crew is safe and sound.

On Monday (March 11), between 8:50 a.m. and 12:50 p.m., a Singaporean merchant ship, the MV Pinocchio, flying the Liberian flag, was targeted. Always with the same technique. The two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis “ did not hit the vessel and no injuries or damage were reported » indicates the US CentCom command.

Comment: Houthis still determined and threatening

The military presence and the strikes carried out mainly by the Americans on Yemeni soil do not seem to have slowed down the pace of action of the Yemeni rebels. No doubt resupplied with anti-ship missiles, the Houthi attacks hardly stop. This despite the presence of warships, American-British and European coalitions. On the contrary. We could even say that a level in the escalation has been reached, with the first deaths among a merchant navy crew last week. Read : [News] First deadly Houthi shot in the Gulf of Aden. A seriously damaged ship (v2). We will undoubtedly have to change tactics, at least on a political level, and negotiate...

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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