British authorities said that the crew of a Belize-flagged, British-registered cargo vessel (Rubymar) have abandoned ship off Yemen after it was hit by missiles fired by the Houthi group.

The Rubymar was in the Gulf of Aden near the Bab al-Mandab Strait when it was hit and the crew abandoned ship, (BBC) reported.

On Monday a Houthi spokesman said the vessel suffered "catastrophic damage" and had sunk

He also said that Houthi forces had attacked two US-owned cargo vessels in the Gulf of Aden.

The strikes on the Rubymar are among the most damaging attacks so far by the Houthis.

The UK government said the Rubymar was taking on water, had been abandoned and the crew taken to safety.

It condemned the attacks as "completely unacceptable" and said the UK and its allies reserved the right to respond appropriately.

The Houthis have launched dozens of missiles and drones at Western commercial and naval ships since mid-November, prompting many shipping companies to stop using the critical waterway, which accounts for about 12% of global maritime trade.

The US and British forces began carrying out airstrikes on military targets across Houthi-controlled western Yemen in response to their attacks last month. (QNA)
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