British warship successfully 'shoots down' Houthi drone, as Defence Secretary says UK remains 'undaunted' by attack

28 January 2024, 12:12 | Updated: 28 January 2024, 12:21

The HMS Diamond successfully shot down a Houthi attack drone.
The HMS Diamond successfully shot down a Houthi attack drone. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

A British warship successfully shot down a Houthi drone targeting the vessel in the Red Sea, the Ministry of Defence has said.

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The HMS Diamond thwarted an attack drone from the Houthi rebels without any damage or injuries to the British ship or crew.

In a statement posted to X, the Ministry of Defence wrote: “Yesterday HMS Diamond successfully repelled a drone attack from the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea.

Deploying her Sea Viper missile system, Diamond destroyed a drone targeting her, with no injuries or damage sustained to Diamond or her crew.

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

While defence secretary Grant Shapps said: "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."

It comes after reports on Saturday that British warships in the Red Sea do not have the capability to strike Houthi rebel bases.

A British defence source told the Sunday Telegraph that the HMS Diamond, stationed to respond to Houthi provocations in the Red Sea, "did not have the capability to fire at land targets".

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that it had been instead "directly involved in successfully destroying Houthi drones" in the Red Sea.

While on Friday, British-linked oil tanker, the Marlin Luanda, was struck by a missile fired by Houthi rebels.

The tanker was hit with an anti-ship ballistic missile and naval ships responded to its distress signal, the US military said.

The operator said no injuries or casualties have been reported within the crew of the Marlin Luanda.

The UK government reiterated in a statement following the attack that Britain and its allies “reserve the right to respond appropriately”.

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