Israel deploys warship to join UK, US & French vessels as Red Sea tensions rage with Iran-backed rebels attacking ships

Israel deploys warship to join UK, US & French vessels as Red Sea tensions rage with Iran-backed rebels attacking ships

ISRAEL has dispatched some of its most powerful warships to the Red Sea as gun-toting rebels are turning the area into a warzone.

The Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar 6-class corvette has been declared operational and are set to join UK, French and US vessels already deployed.

Israel Defense MinistryAn Iron Dome missile defence system fires an interceptor from a Sa’ar-6 corvette, at a target during an exercise in May 2023[/caption]

The Israeli missile ship is set to join British, French and American vessels in the Red Sea

One of four corvettes in the Israeli iron fleet – named Ahi Magen – joined operational activities in the port of Eilat, the only Israeli port on the Red Sea.

Each nearly 2,000-ton missile ship is outfitted with 20 systems, 18 of which are Israeli-made and staffed with around 80 sailors, The Times of Israel reported.

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari confirmed that the corvettes attacked for the first time since they became operational. 

As the war against Hamas reaches its 67th day, Israeli missile ships and standard security vessels have reportedly targeted hundreds of assets linked to manoeuvring forces, i24 News reports.

It comes as Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have unleashed chaos in the Red Sea by blasting ships and patrolling waters on speedboats ready to hijack.

The Houthis control Yemen and its west coast along the Red Sea – and Iran is understood to actively arm the group.

They vowed to target all ships owned by Israel or flying the country’s flag in the Red Sea in the wake of Hamas‘ horror October 7 massacre.

The group declared themselves part of the “axis of resistance” of Iran’s allies and proxies and have rallied behind the Palestinians since Hamas attacked Israel.

In October, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said in a televised statement the group had launched a “large number” of ballistic missiles and drones towards Israel.

Saree insisted there would be more such attacks to come “to help the Palestinians to victory”.

And since the October 7 massacre almost two months ago, there has been a chilling spike in the number of incidents in the inlet.

The Houthis have launched a series of drones and missiles toward Israel in recent weeks as well as blasting ships and seizing a cargo vessel in the last month.

On Monday evening, an anti-ship missile was fired at the Strinda, a Norwegian-flagged chemical tanker in the latest episode of a string of attacks.

The rocket caused a fire onboard, but there were reportedly no casualties.

The ambush came in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, off the coast of Houthi-controlled Yemen south of Israel.

Houthi spokesperson Yehia Sareea said they targeted the tanker after the crew refused to respond to their threats.

A US Navy ship, the USS Mason, intervened to help the Strinda which was reportedly able to move on its own hours after the attack.

US Central Command wrote on X/Twitter: “There were no U.S. ships in the vicinity at the time of the attack, but the (U.S. Navy destroyer) USS MASON responded to the M/T STRINDA’s mayday call and is currently rendering assistance.”

The crew were apparently able to put out the fire onboard and make it safely to a port.

It is part of a fleet owned by shipping firm Mowinckels Rederi, and was on its way to Italy.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations agency (UKMTO), said it received reports of an “entity declaring itself to be the Yemeni Navy, ordering a naval to alter course to a Yemen port”.

It also warned other ships in the area to be careful.

Just weeks ago a tanker owned by an Israeli billionaire was reportedly hijacked off the coast of Yemen with 22 crew members on board.

The US Navy was again forced to engage as the Central Park was seized.

And just days before another Israeli owned ship with 25 onboard was ambushed by Houthi rebels who stormed the deck with guns.

Chilling footage showed a chopper landing on the cargo carrier before several gunmen swarmed.

AFPIsrael has an iron fleet of naval ships, including the four Sa’ar 6-class corvettes[/caption]

The powerful Israeli missile warship was declared operational by the IDFGetty

Iran-backed Houthi rebels are causing chaos in the Red Sea as they vowed to target Israeli ships

ReutersThe U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason, pictured in 2021, was deployed to the Red Sea alongside the USS Carney[/caption]

Paul EdwardsHMS Diamond, pictured docked in the River Thames in Greenwich, was also deployed to the Middle East[/caption]

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