Houthi Militants Struck, Houthi militants in Yemen targeted a US-owned and operated container ship with an anti-ship ballistic missile on Monday as it traveled through the Red Sea, according to the US military.
According to US Central Command, the missile was fired from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen and hit the M/V Gibraltar Eagle, a commercial carrier flagged for the Marshall Islands, at 4 p.m. local time. There were no injuries or serious damage recorded.
Houthi Militants Struck a U.S.-Owned Commercial Ship Off the Coast
The new attack comes less than a week after the US, the UK, and their allies launched a series of air raids against Houthi targets in Yemen. According to the Pentagon, the United States and its allies struck 60 Houthi targets in 28 different sites on Thursday, with another wave of strikes planned for the weekend.
The action by the United States and its partners was in response to a recent increase in Houthi attacks on commercial vessels going through the Red Sea via Yemen, which has hampered international shipping through the area.
“These targeted strikes send a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to jeopardize freedom of navigation on one of the world’s most important commercial routes,” President Biden said when he announced the strikes last week. “I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary.”
The US military stated Monday that the Houthis fired another missile against the Red Sea maritime lanes earlier in the afternoon, but it failed in flight and landed in Yemen. There were no injuries or damage recorded in that occurrence.
The Houthis claim they will strike Israeli-owned commercial ships unless Israel finishes its military assault against Hamas in Gaza, which began following the Hamas attack on October 7.
The Iranian-backed rebel group has attacked ships with fighters and drones, as well as firing missiles at vessels transiting through the southern Red Sea, prompting almost 2,000 ships to change course to avoid an attack. Some of the attacks have caused damage to ships, but US warships have shot down a large number of missiles and drones.
The Houthis’ rise in strikes, combined with Iran’s public support, has fueled concerns that the battle between Israel and Hamas would escalate into a larger Middle Eastern confrontation.
A spokesperson for Iran, which has provided the Houthis with weapons, information, and other assistance, condemned the Western air strikes and vowed the rebel group will continue to target ships in the Red Sea.