Houthi fighters’ claims to have ‘completely destroyed’ an Emirati warship as she approached the Yemeni port of Mokha on the Red Sea have been acknowledged by the UAE military.

Regional news agencies reported on unverified video on social media that purported to show the aftermath of a missile attack on the Emirati-operated catamaran, Swift (ex-HSV-2).

The images showed a vessel on fire and later what appeared to be the burnt out hull of the Incat-built vessel. Reports of casualties range from 22 dead to all the crew being rescued.

The stricken vessel was subsequently towed to a port in Eritrea. In response to the incident, the US Navy despatched three warships to the area to police the shipping lanes.

Following what was perceived to be several attempts to target two of these ships with C-802 anti-ship missiles, the destroyer USS Nitze engaged three Houthi-controlled radar sites on Yemen’s Red Sea coast with Tomahawk cruise missile strikes. Gary Davies