THE UN Security Council has passed a resolution demanding Yemen’s Houthis immediately stop attacking ships in the Red Sea.

The draft resolution also demanded the group release the ro-ro vessel Galaxy Leader and its crew, hijacked on 19 November.

The announcement follows news this week that the US and UK forces on Tuesday shot down 21 drones and missiles the Houthi militia fired in the southern Red Sea.

Eleven member nations voted in favour of the resolution which condemned “in the strongest terms” the attacks against commercial shipping in the region.

Four countries (China, Russia, Algeria and Mozambique) abstained from the vote. None voted against the resolution.

“There have been over two dozen separate attacks on international shipping carried out by the rebel movement which controls much of Yemen, since the 7 October terror attacks by Hamas led to Israel’s offensive in Gaza,” the UN said.

“Houthis control the capital Sana’a and large swathes of the country, including the Red Sea coast.

“They began targeting what they believe to be Israel-bound vessels in mid-November after first launching missile and drone attacks against Israel itself, in support of the extremist group Hamas.

“Now they have widened their aim to all international shipping companies, until, they say, Israel allows full humanitarian supplies to enter Gaza, causing many companies to divert ships far to the south around the Cape of Good Hope, driving up costs and threatening to disrupt the entire global supply chain.”

The text called for respect for the exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by merchant and commercial vessels in line with international law.

It also commended efforts to protect shipping under fire in the Red Sea and encourages member states to “support capacity building efforts” of the Yemeni coastguard to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

It also emphasised the needs to “address the root causes” of the attack that are contributing to regional tensions, to ensure a prompt, efficient and effective response.

The resolution condemns the provision of any arms to the Houthis and “urges caution and restraint to avoid further escalation of the situation in the Red Sea and the broader region”.