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US military targets Houthi radar sites in Yemen after a merchant sailor goes missing

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. military unleashed a wave of attacks targeting radar sites operated by Yemen’s Houthi terrorists after one merchant sailor went missing and the vessel he was on caught fire in the latest Houthi strike on shipping in the crucial Red Sea corridor, authorities said Saturday.

U.S. strikes destroyed seven radars within Houthi-controlled territory, the military’s Central Command said. It did not elaborate on how the sites were destroyed and did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.

“These radars allow the Houthis to target maritime vessels and endanger commercial shipping,” Central Command said in a statement.

The U.S. separately destroyed two bomb-laden drone boats in the Red Sea, as well as a drone launched by the Houthis over the waterway, it said.

The Central Command said one commercial sailor from the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk cargo carrier Tutor remained missing after an attack Wednesday by the Houthis that used a bomb-carrying drone boat to strike the vessel.

“The crew abandoned ship and were rescued by USS Philippine Sea and partner forces,” Central Command said. The “Tutor remains in the Red Sea and is slowly taking on water.”

The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said Saturday afternoon that the Tutor was “still on fire and sinking.”

The missing sailor is Filipino, according to the state-run Philippine News Agency, which cited Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac. He said most of the Tutor’s 22 mariners were from the Philippines.

“We’re trying to account for the particular seafarer in the ship and are praying that we could find him,” he said Friday night.

The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, killed three sailors, seized one vessel and sunk another since November, according to the U.S. Maritime Administration. A U.S.-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 terrorists say.

“The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza and yet they are targeting and threatening the lives of third-country nationals who have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza,” Central Command said. “The ongoing threat to international commerce caused by the Houthis in fact makes it harder to deliver badly needed assistance to the people of Yemen as well as Gaza.”

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