PARIS: A French warship operating in the Red Sea has shot down two drones that were launched at it from the Yemen coast, the defence ministry said on Sunday.
It said the multipurpose frigate Languedoc had intercepted and destroyed a first drone at around 9:30 p.m. local French time on Saturday, and a second one around 11:30 p.m. at 110 km (68.35 miles) from the Yemen coast around Al Hudaydah.
Yemen’s Houthi movement said on Saturday they would target all ships heading to Israel, regardless of their nationality, and warned all international shipping companies against dealing with Israeli ports.
The Iran-aligned Houthis have attacked and seized several Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea and its Bab al-Mandab strait, a sea lane through which much of the world’s oil is shipped.
Heightened tensions in the Red Sea
The latest warning comes amid heightened tensions in the Red Sea and surrounding waters following a series of maritime attacks by Houthi rebels since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza on October 7.
Last week, the Yemeni group attacked two ships off the Yemeni coast, including a Bahamas-flagged vessel, claiming they were Israeli-owned. And last month, the rebel forces seized the Galaxy Leader, an Israeli-linked cargo vessel.
In a recent statement posted on social media, the Houthi rebels said they “will prevent the passage of ships heading to the Zionist entity” if humanitarian aid is not allowed into Gaza.