Ship sinks in Red Sea after being struck by Houthis in deadly attack

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A bulk carrier sank days after an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels believed to have killed one mariner on board, authorities say, the second-such ship to be sunk in the rebel campaign.

The sinking of the Tutor in the Red Sea marks what appears to be a new escalation by the Iranian-backed Houthis in their campaign targeting shipping through the vital maritime corridor over the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

The attack comes despite a months-long US-led campaign in the region that has seen the Navy face its most-intense maritime fighting since World War II, with near-daily attacks targeting commercial vessels and warship.

The Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned-and-operated Tutor sank in the Red Sea, the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center says in a warning to sailors in the region.

“Military authorities report maritime debris and oil sighted in the last reported location,” the UKMTO says. “The vessel is believed to have sunk.”

The Houthis do not immediately acknowledge the sinking. The US military as well does not immediately acknowledge the sinking.

The Tutor came under attack a week ago by a bomb-carrying Houthi drone boat in the Red Sea. John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, said Monday that the attack killed “a crew member who hailed from the Philippines.” The Philippines has yet to acknowledge the death, but the man who had been aboard the Tutor has been missing for over a week in the Red Sea, which faces intense summertime heat.

The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, killing four sailors. They’ve seized one vessel and sunk two since November, according to the US Maritime Administration. A US-led airstrike campaign has targeted the Houthis since January, with a series of strikes May 30 killing at least 16 people and wounding 42 others, the rebels say.

In March, the Belize-flagged Rubymar carried a load of fertilizer sank in the Red Sea after taking on water for days following a rebel attack.

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