A Royal Navy warship has shot down an attack drone suspected of targeting commercial ships in the Red Sea.
The HMS Diamond fired a Sea Viper missile and destroyed the drone overnight, the first time the Royal Navy has shot down an aerial target in anger since the 1991 Gulf War.
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Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said attacks on commercial ships in the global trade artery by Yemen’s Houthi rebels “represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security”.
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Global shipping has become a target during the war between Israel and Hamas, which like the Houthi, is backed by Iran.
The group has vowed to target vessels which it believes are heading to and from Israel and HMS Diamond was sent to the region two weeks ago as a deterrent.
“The UK remains committed to repelling these attacks to protect the free flow of global trade,” Mr Shapps said in a statement.
The Houthis have launched a series of attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, as well as launching drones and missiles targeting Israel.
Earlier this month, three commercial ships were struck by ballistic missiles and a US warship shot down a further three drones.
Image: Pic: Ministry of Defence
On Friday Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping company, told all its vessels planning to pass through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea to “pause their journey until further notice” after a missile attack on a Liberian-flagged cargo ship.
Control of Yemen is split between the Iran-backed rebels and Saudi-backed government forces. The country has been locked in a devastating civil war in recent years, with reports a child dies every 10 minutes.
Source : Sky News