First Civilian Casualties from Houthi Attack Reported in Red Sea

( – A March 7th attack on a ship in the Red Sea by the Houthi rebels has killed three sailors, the first civilian casualties since the Yemen-based group began attacking ships on the shipping route in October.

The Greek-operated ship True Confidence was set ablaze by the strike, which occurred 50 nautical miles off the coast of Yemen. The ship was carrying steel products and trucks en route from China to Jeddah and Aqaba when it was struck by a missile fired by the Iran-aligned militant group. The three armed guards and 20 crew members aboard the ship were rescued by an Indian warship and taken to a Djibouti hospital.

According to the owners and manager of the ship, two Filipino nationals and one Vietnamese national were killed in the attack, which also left two Filipinos severely injured.

A salvage contract has been signed for the ship, which has drifted away from land, according to a statement from the owners of the ship.

In a post on Twitter, the British embassy, located in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, wrote that the “Houthis recklessly firing missiles” at ships in the Red Sea “must stop.”

In a March 7th statement, leading global shipping associations called the loss of life “completely unacceptable,” adding that the attack highlights the need for “decisive action” to be taken.

The Iran-aligned Houthi rebels have been launching drone and missile attacks on ships in the Red Sea since the October 7th attack by Hamas in Israel as a show of support for the Palestinians. The attacks along the busy trade route have caused trade between Europe and Asia to slow.

In response to the attacks, the group was added to the list of “terrorist groups,” and the U.S. and British forces have launched strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen. During a Jan. 11 night-time mission, U.S. forces seized a shipment of Iranian weapons bound for Yemen that appeared to be the same ones the Houthis have used to attack ships in the Red Sea. While on the mission, two Navy SEALs directly involved in the seizure were lost at sea.

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