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Red Sea: Houthis hit ship

Tajani: "Not at war against the Houthis, we are determined to defend merchant traffic"

Merchant ship hit and damaged in the Red Sea by a missile fired by Yemeni Houthi rebels, the pro-Palestinian militias who for months have been targeting commercial maritime units of Western countries transiting the Middle East. No injuries on board. The attack occurred 76 nautical miles west of the port city of Hodeidah, Yemen. This was reported by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (Ukmto). Meanwhile, military missions continue to shoot down Houthi drones and missiles.

"Italy is not at war" with the Houthis, "we are against the war" and "when there are terrorist attacks by a non-state organisation, you are not at war, you protect your own merchant traffic". "We with the Houthis want to lower the bar, not raise it", declared the Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, on the sidelines of the conference on human trafficking at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See.

"We are determined -he added- in the defense of Italian merchant traffic in the Red Sea. This is why we insisted that there be a strictly defensive European military operation, 'Aspides', of which we have operational command. Defensive does not mean immobile but that in case attack, by air or sea, there is a prompt reaction. As we have shot down the three drones, we are ready to shoot down other offensive means and to defend against maritime attacks".

Meanwhile, the United States Central Command (Centcom) says: "It was determined that these weapons represented an imminent threat to merchant and U.S. Navy vessels in the region". Washington's armed forces report that 9 anti-ship missiles and 2 Houthi drones have been destroyed in the last 24 hours in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency