UK Navy Reports Crew Abandoned Ship In Gulf

( – The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations has reported that a merchant vessel experienced severe flooding in an incident in the Gulf of Aden, 96 nautical miles southeast of Yemen’s coastal town of Nishtun, which forced the crew and master to abandon the ship. The incident on Sunday 23 followed another reported by the UKMTO involving a merchant vessel that was hit by a suicide drone in the Red Sea.

According to UKMTO, an “assisting ship” rescued the crew of the Rubymar and left the abandoned ship adrift. The incident was reported to authorities. The two incidents follow increasing assaults by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on vessels in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The Yemeni rebels warned that they would ramp up the attacks on vessels until a ceasefire is agreed in the Gaza conflict.

Houthi rebels claimed that the UK-linked Rubymar, which was hit by missiles, had sunk after the crew abandoned ship. The UK Royal Navy and the maritime security firm Ambrey found no evidence to indicate that the ship had sunk, however. The attacks by rebels on one of the most significant trade routes in the world has had a significant impact on global trade.

In the event of further escalation in the Gaza conflict, more drone and missile strikes by the rebels on commercial ships are expected. As ceasefire efforts struggle to halt the war, the possibility of conflict flaring up between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah militants increases. If ceasefire efforts fail and the conflict spreads elsewhere throughout the Middle East, the trade route is likely to become even more hazardous for merchant vessels.

A senior fellow at Hudson Institute, David Asher, argued that Iran is bracing itself for an “Oil War” and that, if the conflict spreads beyond Palestine, the country is likely to weaponize crude oil against the American economy. Furthermore, if the Houthi rebels strike Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure in their war against the Saudi regime then the price of oil would skyrocket even further.

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