STC President Aidrous Al-Zubaidi sitting between the STC Vice-President (left) and Governor of Aden (right) - STC media

STC ready to deter Houthi naval attacks


Mon, 27-11-2023 02:17 PM, Aden

Aden (South24)

The Southern Transitional Council (STC) announced its readiness to deter the Houthi militia’s maritime attacks in Yemen and contribute to securing international navigation in the Gulf of Aden, Bab al-Mandab, and the Red Sea.

The announcement was part of an official statement published by the STC late yesterday evening, just hours after the Israeli-linked chemical ship Central Park was hijacked by gunmen in the Gulf of Aden.

The STC accused the Houthi militia of orchestrating the hijacking, which was the third attack against an Israeli-linked ship in Middle Eastern waters within a week.

The statement said: "The recent Houthi terrorist seizure of international vessels is an alarming threat to regional and international security and stability which directly threatens Yemen's and the world's food security. The STC strongly condemns these acts of terrorist piracy and calls on the international community to shoulder the grave responsibility of confronting and deterring these threats with the utmost resolve.  Houthi actions and persistent terrorist behavior continue to obstruct all peace efforts in South and Yemen, as well as at the regional level".

"The Houthi seizure of a vessel in the territorial waters of the Gulf of Aden represents an escalation of the pattern of ongoing violations and acts of aggression against the people and the government in [South] Yemen and serves as further evidence that this terrorist group routinely exploits humanitarian issues to conceal its grave crimes against humanity," it added.

“The STC emphasizes its unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety of international navigation and safeguarding the vital international trade routes in the Bab Al-Mandab, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea,” the statement added.

The statement declared that "to achieve this the STC remains ready to enhance the capabilities of our Southern naval forces through cooperation with Arab coalition partners and other regional and international partners."

Yesterday, British maritime security firm Ambrey revealed that an "unknown force" had seized the chemical tanker Central Park, owned by an Israeli businessman, near the coast of Aden.

Related: Israeli-linked oil tanker seized in Gulf of Aden 

Later, the head of the Yemeni government's Coast Guard, Major General Khaled Al-Qamali, announced that a US military landing operation had liberated the ship and stopped the armed pirates, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the Houthis of being behind the attack in the Gulf of Aden.

Central Command announced today that at 01:41 (Sanaa time), two ballistic missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled areas toward the vicinity of American destroyer USS Mason in the Gulf of Aden, landing approximately ten nautical miles away from the ship. This occurred as the US Navy was concluding its response to the hijacking. 

According to the command center’s statement, the destroyer USS Mason, along with allied ships from its counter-piracy task force, responded to a distress call from commercial ship Central Park after it was attacked by an “unknown entity” yesterday.

It said that five armed individuals debarked the ship via their small boat, and following a pursuit by the US destroyer, eventually surrendered.

In a post on X, General Mike Eric Kurilla, Commander of US Central Command, said: “Maritime domain security is essential to regional stability,” and “We will continue to work with allies and partners to ensure the safety and security of international shipping lanes”.

The Houthis have yet to officially comment on the Central Park seizure or the ballistic missile launches.

On November 19th, the Iranian-backed militia began a major maritime escalation by hijacking the Galaxy Leader cargo ship, partly owned by an Israeli, in the Red Sea.

Related: Houthis hijack Israeli-owned ship in Red Sea 

It is believed that either the Houthis or another Iranian-backed group are also responsible for an attack on the Israeli-owned container ship CMA CGM Symi on Friday, using an Iranian Shahed-136 drone armed with explosives.

South24 Center

South YemenSTCHouthisHijackingIsraelIranShipBab al-MandabMaritime security