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British navy ship repels Huthi rebel attack: minister

British Defence Minister Grant Shapps on Sunday said the UK remained “undaunted” after Huthi rebels attempted to attack a navy ship in the Red Sea. “Yesterday (Saturday) HMS Diamond successfully repelled a drone attack from the Iranian-backed Huthis in the Red Sea,” Shapps said on X, formerly Twitter, calling the ongoing attacks “intolerable and illegal”. “Deploying her Sea Viper missile system, Diamond destroyed a drone targeting her,” he said. There were no injuries or damage sustained to Diamond or her crew. US and British forces on January 12 fired their first joint strikes aimed at reducing the Huthis’ ability to target vessels transiting the key Red Sea trade route — attacks the rebels say are in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is at war with Hamas. The Huthis began targeting Red Sea shipping in November. Washington has also carried out a series of unilateral air raids, but the Huthis have vowed to continue their attacks. The rebels — part of an anti-Israel, anti-West alliance of Iranian proxies and allies — have disrupted trade in the Red Sea, which carries around 12 percent of international maritime traffic. Several shipping firms are avoiding the waterway, instead taking the longer and more expensive route around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

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