Houthi rebels in Yemen say they will continue sinking British ships

The Rubymar as it sank after being hit by a Houthi missile (AL-JOUMHOURIYA TV/AFP via Getty)
The Rubymar as it sank after being hit by a Houthi missile (AL-JOUMHOURIYA TV/AFP via Getty)

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis vowed on Sunday to continue targeting British ships in the Gulf of Aden following the sinking of a UK-linked vessel.

The US military confirmed on Saturday that the Rubymar had sunk after being struck by an anti-ship ballistic missile fired by Yemeni Houthi militants on February 18.

"Yemen will continue to sink more British ships, and any repercussions or other damages will be added to Britain's bill," Hussein al-Ezzi, deputy foreign minister in the Houthi-led government, said in a post on X.

"It is a rogue state that attacks Yemen and partners with America in sponsoring ongoing crimes against civilians in Gaza."

Houthi militants have repeatedly launched drones and missiles against international commercial shipping since mid-November, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians against Israel's military actions in Gaza.

Their Red Sea attacks have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa, and stoked fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spread to destabilise the wider Middle East.

The US and Britain began striking Houthi targets in Yemen in January in retaliation for the attacks on Red Sea shipping.

The 172m-long Rubymar was flagged in Belize and operated by a Lebanese firm.

Its registered owner is Golden Adventure Shipping, with an address in the British port of Southampton.