US navy said to down barrage of Houthi drones and missiles targeting Red Sea shipping

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Yemen’s Houthi rebels unleashed a barrage of drones and missiles targeting shipping in the Red Sea late Tuesday, though it initially appeared no ship was damaged in the attack, authorities say early Wednesday.

The assault happened off the Yemeni port cities of Hodeida and Mokha, according to the private intelligence firm Ambrey. In the Hodeida incident, Ambrey says ships described over radio seeing missiles and drones, with US-allied warships in the area urging “vessels to proceed at maximum speed.”

Off Mokha, ships saw missiles fired, a drone in the air and small vessels trailing them, Ambrey says.

The British military’s United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations, which monitors shipping attacks in the region, says it’s aware of the Hodeida attack.

“Coalition forces are responding, no injuries or damage reported,” the military says. “Vessels are advised to transit with caution and report any suspicious activity.”

The Houthis, a Shiite group that’s held Yemen’s capital since 2014, doesn’t immediately issue any formal statement acknowledging launching the attacks. However, the pan-Arab satellite news network Al Jazeera earlier quoted an anonymous Houthi military official saying their forces “targeted a ship linked to Israel in the Red Sea,” without elaborating.

The US Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet, the military’s overall Central Command and officials in Washington don’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Citing American defense officials, CNN reports the US navy shot done 24 missiles and drones launched by the Houthis in one of the biggest such attacks yet by the Iran-backed rebel group in Yemen.

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