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Yemen: Verbena ship hit by missiles sinks in Gulf of Aden

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Yemen: Verbena ship hit by missiles sinks in Gulf of Aden

Story by Sussan ONUOHA

The Yemeni Army has announced that one of the ships targeted in its latest military operations in international waters has sunk, while the other is at risk of sinking.

In a statement on Saturday, Army Spokesman Yahya Saree said that the ships, named Verbena and Tutor, were targeted in the past 72 hours.

“Verbena has sunk in the Gulf of Aden after it was hit by several missiles”, he said, adding that Tutor was struck by several missiles and drones, and is at risk of sinking, “within the coming hours”.

Saree, however, did not say where Tutor was hit.

The Yemeni Army official reported that both vessels were heading towards Israeli-occupied ports and thus, violated Yemeni warnings against approaching those ports.

READ ALSO: Over 12,500 Israeli soldiers ‘disabled’ from injuries in ongoing war with Gaza

Meanwhile, US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on Sunday morning that the crew of Verbana left this bulk carrier due to the continued fire and inability to contain it.

CENTCOM wrote in a statement on the X social network that, “On June 13, Iranian-backed Houthis struck the M/V Verbana, a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated bulk cargo carrier in two separate missile attacks.”

The statement added, “Today (Saturday), at approximately 1:45 p.m (Sanaa time), the crew of the ship issued a distressed call indicating they were abandoning the ship.

“M/V Anna Meta responded to render assistance. It noted that the marines are transporting the crew to safety. The crew abandoned the ship due to continued fires and inability to contain them”.

“CENTCOM also claimed without providing proof that “the Iranian frigate, IRIN Jamaran was eight nautical miles from M/V Verbana and did not respond to the distress call”.

The statements from CENTCOM followed the announcement by the Yemeni Army spokesman about the fate of the two ships bound for occupied Palestine and were targeted on Thursday.

Yemen launched its military operations in the high seas in mid-November in an effort to force the Israeli regime to stop its war on Gaza and lift its blockade of the Palestinian territory.

The Yemeni Army says its operations only target Israeli ships or any vessels that head towards ports in the occupied territories, rejecting Western allegations that the operations pose a threat to international shipping.

Yahya Saree reiterated that the Yemeni armed forces will continue to expand their operations and enhance military capabilities in support and defense of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

In his reaction, Head of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council Mahdi al-Mashat on Saturday night asserted that the country’s armed forces will continue their land, sea, and air operations against the Zionist regime.

“We condemn all the crimes committed by Zionists, Americans, and Westerners against the Palestinian people,” he said.

Al-Mashat once again emphasized continuing to fully support the Palestinian people in their resistance until the complete liberation of the occupied land and the expulsion of the aggressors.

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