Vessel targeted by missile attack off Yemen — security firms

UK Navy’s monitoring group says munition exploded in sea, caused no injuries or damage; no initial claim of responsibility

A fighter holds a rocket propelled grenade launcher as forces loyal to the Houthi rebels in Yemen participate in a military parade on the occasion of the 34th National Day to commemorate Yemeni unity, in Sanaa, on May 22, 2024. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)
A fighter holds a rocket propelled grenade launcher as forces loyal to the Houthi rebels in Yemen participate in a military parade on the occasion of the 34th National Day to commemorate Yemeni unity, in Sanaa, on May 22, 2024. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A missile attack targeted a commercial vessel transiting southwest of Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah without causing any damage or casualties, maritime security firms said on Thursday, in an attack likely carried out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

The vessel was “suspiciously approached” 68 nautical miles (125 kilometers) off Hodeidah, Ambrey said, without identifying the ship or the flag that it was flying.

“The vessel had undergone what she described as a ‘missile attack’ at the location,” it added, noting that “no injuries or damages were reported.”

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, run by the Royal Navy, also reported an incident at the same location near the crucial Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the southern Red Sea, with “a missile impacting the water in close proximity” to the ship.

“Vessel and all crew are safe and proceeding to next port of call,” it said in an advisory.

The Houthis did not immediately claim the attack, though it can take hours or even days for them to acknowledge their assaults, which began in November.

The group, which controls the Yemeni capital Sanaa and much of the country’s Red Sea coast, says their campaign is in solidarity with Palestinians amid the Gaza war that was sparked by Palestinian terror group Hamas’s October 7 onslaught, in which some 1,200 people were murdered in Israel and 252 were taken hostage.

The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, seized one vessel, and sunk another since November, according to the United States Maritime Administration.

Shipping through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden has declined because of the threat. In recent weeks, the tempo of Houthi attacks has dropped, though the rebels have claimed to shoot down US surveillance drones.

Their attacks have prompted US and British reprisal strikes and the formation of an international naval coalition to protect the vital trade route.

On Wednesday, US military forces shot down four drones in Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

“It was determined these systems presented an imminent threat to US coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region,” CENTCOM posted on social media platform X.

A day earlier the Iran-backed Houthis claimed that they had shot down an American drone over the country on the Arabian Peninsula. The US military acknowledged reports but didn’t comment.

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