Ship Comes Under Houthi Attack off Coast of Yemen

FILED - 27 January 2024, Yemen, Gulf of Aden: The Marlin Luanda vessel on fire in the Gulf of Aden after it was reportedly struck by an anti-ship missile fired from a Houthi controlled area of Yemen. Photo: Indian Navy via ZUMA Wire/dpa
FILED - 27 January 2024, Yemen, Gulf of Aden: The Marlin Luanda vessel on fire in the Gulf of Aden after it was reportedly struck by an anti-ship missile fired from a Houthi controlled area of Yemen. Photo: Indian Navy via ZUMA Wire/dpa
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Ship Comes Under Houthi Attack off Coast of Yemen

FILED - 27 January 2024, Yemen, Gulf of Aden: The Marlin Luanda vessel on fire in the Gulf of Aden after it was reportedly struck by an anti-ship missile fired from a Houthi controlled area of Yemen. Photo: Indian Navy via ZUMA Wire/dpa
FILED - 27 January 2024, Yemen, Gulf of Aden: The Marlin Luanda vessel on fire in the Gulf of Aden after it was reportedly struck by an anti-ship missile fired from a Houthi controlled area of Yemen. Photo: Indian Navy via ZUMA Wire/dpa

A ship traveling in the Gulf of Aden came under attack Thursday, officials said, the latest assault likely carried out by Yemen's Houthis over Israel's ongoing war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The attack comes after the US military said early Thursday an allied warship shot down a Houthi missile targeting a vessel the day before near the same area. The Houthis claimed Wednesday's assault, which comes after a period of relatively few attacks on shipping in the region over Israel’s ongoing war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
In Thursday's attack, a ship was targeted just over 25 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Aden, the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said.
The captain “reports a loud bang heard and a splash and smoke seen coming from the sea,” the UKMTO said. “Vessel and all crew are safe.”
The attack was also reported by the private security firm Ambrey.
The Houthis did not immediately claim the attack, though it typically takes them hours to acknowledge an assault. European Union forces separately shot down a drone launched from Houthi territory on Thursday, Gen. Robert Brieger said.
The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, seized one vessel and sank another since November, according to the US Maritime Administration.
Houthi attacks have dropped in recent weeks as the group has been targeted by a US-led airstrike campaign in Yemen and shipping through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden has declined because of the threat.
American officials have speculated that the Houthis may be running out of weapons as a result of the US-led campaign against them and firing off drones and missiles steadily in the last months.
However, Wednesday's attack was the first one by the Houthis in some time. An explosion struck some 130 kilometers (80 miles) southeast of Djibouti in the Gulf of Aden, the UKMTO said.
Early Thursday, the US military’s Central Command said the explosion came from a coalition warship shooting down the missile likely targeting the MV Yorktown, a US-flagged, owned and operated vessel with 18 US and four Greek crew members.
“There were no injuries or damage reported by US, coalition or commercial ships,” Central Command said.
Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, a Houthi military spokesman, claimed the attack but insisted without evidence that the missile hit the Yorktown. Saree also claimed the Houthis targeted another ship in the Indian Ocean, without providing proof. The Houthis have made repeated claims that turned out to not be true during their yearslong war in Yemen.
The Houthis have said they will continue their attacks until Israel ends its war in Gaza, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians there. The war began after Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking some 250 others hostage.
Most of the ships targeted by the Houthis have had little or no direct connection to Israel, the US or other nations involved in the war.



Yemen’s Central Bank Tightens Grip on Foreign Transfers

Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)
Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)
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Yemen’s Central Bank Tightens Grip on Foreign Transfers

Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)
Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)

Yemen’s Central Bank, based in Aden, the interim capital, has tightened its grip on foreign money transfers, requiring all transactions to go through approved banks and exchange companies.

Banks and exchange companies must operate mainly from Aden and grant local entities permission to handle transactions. Moreover, they must deliver remittances in the received currency without converting unless the client requests otherwise.

This step aims to better regulate financial flows amidst Yemen’s challenging economic situation.

The decision strengthens the Central Bank’s control in Aden by requiring all banks and exchange companies in Houthi-held areas to get approval before conducting transactions.

It also ensures that transfers are made in the original currency, unlike what the Houthis are doing now, withholding transfers in US dollars. This comes just two days before the deadline for banks to move their main offices from Houthi-controlled Sanaa to the interim capital.

According to Yemeni financial expert Wahid Al-Fudai, the Central Bank’s decision aims to regulate international money transfers through remittance companies and tighten control over them.

Al-Fudai sees this decision as part of the bank’s efforts to regulate banks and exchange companies according to local laws, serving the public interest, and keeping up with global trends.

He explained to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Central Bank had previously issued instructions regarding financial networks, emphasizing the need for its oversight over external transfers.

He stressed that only qualified and licensed institutions are allowed to conduct these transfers, meeting all requirements for compliance with international standards, especially in combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

Al-Fudai highlighted the importance of this step, especially with the Iran-backed Houthi militias now labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States and Australia, which could lead to further complications requiring the Central Bank’s attention.