Houthi missile hits ship owned by US in Gulf of Aden

A Dhow in the Gulf of Aden.

The United States military command for the Middle East (Centcom) has reported that Houthi rebels targeted a US-owned cargo ship with a ballistic missile off the coast of Yemen, BBC reported.

The vessel, named Gibraltar Eagle and flagged by the Marshall Islands, witnessed limited damage to a cargo hold, with no reported injuries. The ship was carrying steel products and was approximately 160km (100 miles) offshore in the Gulf of Aden at the time of the attack. Despite the incident, the vessel is reported to be stable and continuing its journey.

Houthis have been attacking ships since November, expressing their opposition to Israel’s genocide in Gaza, where more than 24,000 Palestinians have lost life.

The attacks specifically target commercial ships in the Red Sea that the group claims are linked to Israel or heading for Israeli ports. The British maritime security firm, Ambrey, assessed that the Gibraltar Eagle was not Israel-affiliated, but a senior Houthi official stated that American vessels were considered targets simply for being American, the report said.

In response to the ongoing attacks, the US Department of Transportation issued a maritime alert advising “US flag and US-owned commercial vessels” to avoid specified areas in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The disruptions caused by Houthi attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea have led major shipping companies to alter their routes, significantly impacting global commerce.

Following the latest strike, the world’s second-largest oil company, QatarEnergy, announced a temporary halt to shipping via the route as it sought security advice. Last week, in retaliation for the attacks on shipping, US and UK forces conducted strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen. These joint operations, carried out in coordination with allies, involved dozens of air and sea strikes on Houthi missile launch sites and air defense systems within Yemen.

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