UK 'undaunted' as HMS Diamond shoots down Houthi drone

Yemen's Houthis launched a drone attack on a British warship which was "successfully repelled", the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

The ministry said HMS Diamond used its Sea Viper missile system to shoot down a drone "illegally targeting" it, with no injuries or damage reported.

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"These intolerable and illegal attacks are completely unacceptable and it is our duty to protect the freedom of navigation in the Red Sea," the MoD said.

"We want to thank the brave crew of HMS Diamond for their service to defend British and international interests."

Grant Shapps also said on X: "The UK remains undaunted after yesterday's illegal attack on HMS Diamond by the Iranian backed Houthis.

"Our commitment to protect innocent lives and the freedom of navigation is absolutely unwavering."

The British destroyer along with US Navy ships deployed in the area have been been targeted by the group in the past.

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It comes after a British-linked oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden was sent up in flames for hours into Saturday by another rebel strike.

The fire on the Marlin Luanda was extinguished with no crew injured after French, Indian and US naval ships provided assistance.

The ship sails under the flag of the Marshall Islands but is managed by Oceonix Services Ltd, a company registered in the UK.

The Yemeni forces claimed on Friday they had hit the vessel following "American-British aggression against our country".

The Houthis have repeatedly launched attacks on vessels around the Red Sea over Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza, although they have frequently targeted ships with tenuous or no clear links to Israel, endangering shipping on a key global trade route.

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A second series of UK and US air strikes, carried out at the start of the week, appears to have done little to thwart their action.

The Foreign Secretary recently visited the Middle East in a bid to reduce tensions amid fears the war in Gaza could spiral into a wider regional conflict.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday, Lord Cameron argued a new international group comprising the US, UK, key EU states, Gulf and Arab countries and Turkey should be established to broker an end to the fighting.

"Let's use a pause in the fighting to build unstoppable momentum towards a lasting solution," he wrote.

HMS Diamond is a Daring-Class Type 45 air defence destroyer which joined the fleet in 2011.