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Friday, July 19, 2024

US condemns Houthi attacks on cargo vessels amid increased security risks in the Red Sea

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The United States reiterated on Friday its strong condemnation of the recent attacks by Houthi rebels on cargo vessels Tutor and Verbena in the Red Sea. These assaults have sparked international concern and disrupted vital maritime operations in the region.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller emphasized the gravity of the situation, describing it as major hindrance to ongoing humanitarian efforts and international shipping activities.

“We condemn the latest attacks by the Houthis on civilian shipping including the motor vessels Tutor and Verbena. These attacks hinder vital aid from reaching Yemenis, and pose dire risks to regional security and international shipping,” Miller said.

The Liberian-flagged MV Tutor carrying a crew of 22 Filipino seafarers became a target of the attacks, resulting in its sinking. It was struck by an unmanned surface vessel (USV) believed to be operated by Houthi forces.

While 21 crew members were successfully rescued and repatriated from Bahrain, there remains confusion surrounding the status of one Filipino seafarer initially reported as missing. Discrepancies between US and Philippine reports continue to complicate efforts to clarify the situation.

Miller did not address in his post the specific case of the Filipino crew member declared ‘missing’ by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in the Philippines, but was reported dead by the White House in the US earlier this week. 

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