CAIRO (.) – Britain’s defence ministry said on Sunday a statement by Yemen’s Houthis that they had fired ballistic missiles at a British destroyer in the Red Sea was false. The Houthis did not say whether the attack they said they had carried out on the HMS Diamond had caused any damage, but described it as “accurate”. “These claims are untrue,” a British Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson said. The Houthis said they had also attacked two commercial vessels which they identified as the Norderney and Tavvishi. The statement said the Tavvishi – which was in the Arabian Sea – and the Norderney had both been hit, and that a fire broke out on the Norderney. The Houthi militia, which controls the most populous parts of Yemen, has staged attacks on ships in the waters off the country since November in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The campaign has disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa, and stoked fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spread and destabilise the wider Middle East. The United States and Britain have carried out strikes against Houthi targets in response to the attacks on shipping.