Cargo Ship Rubymar Sinks in Red Sea Amid Houthi Attacks – Concerns Rise

A satellite image shows the cargo ship Rubymar before it sank, on the Red Sea. Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS
The cargo ship Rubymar, attacked last month, has sunk in the Red Sea. Yemen's government confirmed the incident and expressed concerns about an environmental disaster. Houthi militants have been targeting commercial vessels in the region since November. The U.S. military reported the ship was carrying 41,000 tons of fertilizer.
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The cargo ship Rubymar, which was attacked last month, has sunk in the southern Red Sea, according to Yemen’s internationally recognized government. This would be the first ship lost since Houthi militants began targeting commercial shipping in November. The ship was carrying over 41,000 tons of fertilizer when it sank, leading to concerns about an environmental disaster. The attack on the Rubymar was part of a series of attacks on merchant ships in the region by Houthi fighters, claiming solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

In a separate incident, Britain’s Maritime Trade Operations Agency reported an attack on a ship near the Yemeni port of Mokha, with the crew evacuating after bringing the ship to anchor. The reports did not specifically name Rubymar, but both incidents occurred in the vicinity where the ship was last seen. The attacks by Houthi militants have disrupted shipping routes, prompting some companies to redirect ships to longer and more expensive routes around southern Africa, raising fears of further destabilization in the Middle East.

In response to the attacks on ships in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab Strait, and Gulf of Aden, the United States and Britain began strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen in January. The internationally recognized government of Yemen is based in the southern port of Aden, while the Houthis control parts of the north and other major centers. The sinking of Rubymar and other attacks highlight the ongoing conflict and its implications for regional stability.

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