Yemen’s Houthis attack bulk carrier in Red Sea with suicide drone boat – first time in this conflict
06/14/2024 // Ethan Huff // Views

The situation is worsening in the Red Sea area of the Middle East after Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked, or so it seems, a bulk carrier using a suicide drone boat.

A major deviation from their usual anti-ship ballistic missiles and kamikaze aerial drones, the Houthis reportedly struck the vessel, known as "Tutor," on the stern using "a small craft" about 66 nautical miles southwest of Al Hudaydah, Yemen, according to the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations.

Tracking data shows that the Tutor turned off its Automatic Identification System late last week after entering the Suez Canal, according to Maritime security company Diaplous. Not long after that, a suicide drone boat struck the vessel, causing its engine compartment to take on water.

It is still unknown for sure if Houthi rebels are responsible for the attack, even though the group is claiming responsibility for it. It makes sense in light of all the Houthi attacks on Western-linked vessels that have occurred in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden over the past six months. The Houthis are also claiming responsibility for several other attacks in the area in recent weeks.

So far, Houthi rebels have attacked 28 bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, cargo ships and crude oil tankers, according to a document from the International Maritime Organization that was obtained by Middle East Eye.

"Nine of the vessels were Marshall Island-flagged and three were U.S.-flagged," Middle East Eye reported. "Others were from Malta, Barbados, Panama, Belize, Greece, Palau, Liberia, Singapore and Portugal."

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According to The Jerusalem Post, the Tutor is now at risk of sinking, this according to Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree, who delivered a televised speech following the incident.

(Related: The White House says that U.S. troops are on the ground in Yemen, but the Pentagon denies this.)

Shipping costs skyrocket as Houthi attacks increase

The media is of course blaming the skyrocketing containerized shipping costs on the ongoing Houthi attacks, ignoring the financial terrorism that ultimately laid the groundwork for skyrocketing inflation and supply chain woes over the past several years.

As for the Tutor, it incurred "severe damage" that the Houthis say is justified because the cargo ship's owner violated a Houthi ban on entering Israeli ports.

The Houthis also reportedly carried out "joint military operations with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq" against a number of targets in the Israeli coastal cities of Ashdod and Haifa. Israel has not yet issued a statement about these attacks.

An unnamed official from the Yemeni government's Coast Guard claims the Tutor actually came under attack twice. Of the 21 crew members of different nationalities who were aboard the ship, one was declared missing following the first attack.

Ever since the Houthis started targeting what it claims are Israeli-linked ships passing through the Red Sea, all to show solidarity with the embattled Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, a U.S.-British naval coalition stationed in the region has been conducting regular air raids and missile strikes against Houthi targets.

"They have effectively shut down the Suez Canal without shutting down the Suez Canal with weapons that cost thousands (not millions), and the world's most powerful navies can do nothing about it," one commenter wrote about what the Houthis are doing. "I mean, it's impressive, when you think about it."

"Now imagine high-end Russian weapons in this theater," added another. "I wonder what Lindsey Graham would say?"

Others added to the conversation that the "neocons" (neoconservatives) in the U.S. are getting what they wanted with this proxy-war with Russia.

The latest news about the escalating situation in the Middle East and Russia's increased maneuvering and placement of its military around the world can be found at

Sources for this article include:

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