a French frigate shoots down 2 drones coming from Yemen

by time news

2023-12-10 08:56:00

The French multi-mission frigate Languedoc, which operates in the Red Sea, shot down two drones on the night of Saturday December 9 to Sunday December 10. According to a press release from the General Staff of the Armed Forces, these drones came from northern Yemen, territory under the control of the Houthi rebels who threaten to disrupt traffic on this strategic sea route as part of the conflict between Israel and the Hamas terrorist movement. “The interception and destruction of these two distinct threats” took place 110 kilometers from the Yemeni coast, near Hodeida, a port in northern Yemen under Houthi control.

The latter threatened on Saturday to attack any ship in the Red Sea heading towards Israel if the population of the Gaza Strip did not receive emergency aid. In a statement posted on social media before the French announcement, the Houthis said they would “prevent the passage of ships heading towards the Zionist entity” if residents of the Palestinian territory, bombarded by Israel for two months, do not were not receiving more humanitarian aid, such as food and medicine.

“The axis of resistance”

Hamas, a member of what it calls the “axis of resistance” against Israel, alongside the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Houthis, welcomed the “brave and bold” decision of the Yemeni rebels. “We call on Arab and Muslim countries to use all their capabilities, on the basis of their historical responsibilities and in a chivalrous spirit, to lift the siege of Gaza,” added Hamas in this press release sent to AFP.

This latest warning from the Houthis comes in a context of increased tensions in the Red Sea since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, triggered on October 7 after a deadly attack by the Palestinian terrorist movement on Israeli soil. In retaliation, Israel bombs the Gaza Strip, which it has besieged since October 9. Humanitarian aid is trickling in and the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, speaks of a “nightmarish humanitarian context”.

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However, regardless of the flag under which the ships sail or the nationality of their owners or operators, those bound for Israel “will become a legitimate target for our armed forces”, believe the Houthis. Not all “ships linked to Israel or that will carry goods” to Israel are welcome in the Red Sea, a strategic area between northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, they added.

A “naval headquarters”

On the Israeli side, the head of the National Security Council, Tzachi Hanegbi, denounced a “naval siege”. “If the world does not deal with this, because it is an international problem, we will act to put an end to this naval siege,” he warned.

Last week, the Houthis attacked two ships off the Yemeni coast, including a Bahamian-flagged vessel, claiming they belonged to Israelis. An American destroyer shot down three drones last week while providing assistance to commercial ships in the Red Sea targeted by attacks from Yemen, according to Washington, which denounced “a direct threat” to maritime security.

On November 19, the Houthis seized the merchant ship Galaxy Leader, which belongs to a British company, itself owned by an Israeli businessman. The Houthis also launched a series of drones and missiles towards Israel. Many devices have been intercepted by Israel or American warships.

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