Bab al-Mandab, Yemen
9 December 2023

The Houthis declared “they would prevent the passage of ships heading to the Zionist entity [ie, Israel] of any nationality, if they do not enter the Gaza Strip with the food and medicine they need”, warning “all ships and companies against dealing with Israeli ports”. The same day, a French warship downed two drones launched from Yemen in the Red Sea; according to the general staff, the UAVs “were flying directly towards the vessel”. France’s foreign ministry described the action as “legitimate defence”, noting “attacks and acts of piracy committed by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea… [and] worrying increase of assaults on the freedom of navigation in that zone”.

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