British Warship Shoots Down Drone Attack in the Red Sea

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London (Parliament Politic Magazine) – On Saturday, defense minister Grant Shapps announced that a suspected attack drone, aiming at commercial shipping in the Red Sea, was taken down by a British destroyer, HMS Diamond. Mr. Shapps shared on Twitter that a Sea Viper missile was launched and successfully eliminated the target.

The Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have previously declared their intention to target vessels transiting through the Red Sea, a crucial trade route connecting the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal. Consequently, two major shipping companies, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, have temporarily halted their passage through the Red Sea strait, a vital pathway for global trade.

The Red sea:

The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. Its connection to the ocean is in the south, through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. The Red Sea is a relatively new sea; whose development probably resembles that of the Atlantic Ocean in its early stages. The Red Sea lies in a fault depression that separates two great blocks of Earth’s crust—Arabia and Africa.

The land on either side, inland from the coastal plains, reaches heights of more than 6,560 feet above sea level, with the highest land in the south. The Red Sea contains some of the world’s hottest and saltiest seawater. With its connection to the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal, it is one of the most heavily traveled waterways in the world, carrying maritime traffic between Europe and Asia.

The Red Sea is lined by several states that include; Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Israel, Sudan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These countries have coastlines along the Red Sea, and some other areas, such as Somalia, are sometimes recognized as Red Sea Territories due to their proximity and geographical similarities with the bordering countries. The Red Sea is a strategically important waterway that connects the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, and it plays a significant role in global trade and regional geopolitics.

The Houthi Movement:

The Houthi movement, officially known as Ansar Allah, is a Shia Islamist political and military organization that emerged from the Saada Governorate of Yemen. The Houthis are a large clan originating from Yemen’s northwestern Saada province and practice the Zaydi form of Shiism, making up around 35 percent of Yemen’s population. They have been involved in the conflict in Yemen, fighting the country’s traditional enemy Saudi Arabia and the Sunni-majority government since 2004. The Houthis have been accused of having links to Iran and have demonstrated their missile and drone capabilities during the Yemen war in attacks targeting oil installations and vital infrastructure.

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Current Situation of Houthi Movement:

The current situation in Yemen involving the Houthis is marked by a tense relationship with the Saudi coalition that supports Yemen’s internationally recognized government. The fighting between the Houthi rebels and the Saudi coalition has largely subsided in 2023. However, the situation remains complex and fragile. 

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.