The latest Houthi escalation targets ships near the Red Sea
A US official said a commercial ship sailing in the southern Red Sea was hit by a land-based cruise missile launched from Houthi-controlled Yemen.
US Central Command He said in a post on X On Monday evening, “damage caused a fire on board the commercial ship,” but there were no reports of casualties.
The incident is the latest escalation by Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen, who have launched missiles and drones targeting ships sailing in the region in a show of support for Hamas in the war with Israel.
In mid-November, Houthi commandos seized the Bahamian-flagged ship “Galaxy Leader” while sailing in the Red Sea, claiming that it was linked to Israel. The ship and its multinational crew remain in the port of Hodeidah in Yemen, where they were transferred after its seizure.
A US official confirmed to ABC News on Monday that a land-based cruise missile launched from Houthi-controlled Yemen hit the commercial ship – Motor Transport STRINDA – when it was about 60 nautical miles north of Bab al-Mandab. The narrow strait that connects Yemen to the northeastern coast of Africa.
Earlier on Monday, UK Maritime Trade Operations received a report of an attack on a merchant ship sailing 15 nautical miles west of the port of Mokha, Yemen.
The attack caused some damage and a fire, but no injuries were reported, according to the US official.
There were no US Navy ships near the area when the attack occurred, but the destroyer USS Mason is now on scene to assist.
In recent weeks, the USS Mason and the destroyer USS Carney were involved in several incidents in which they shot down Houthi missiles or drones targeting commercial ships or Israel.
The United States is in discussions with other countries to form a multinational task force to protect commercial ships sailing in the region.
US officials have also said publicly that the United States reserves the right to respond to Houthi attacks at a time and place of its choosing.
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