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US shoots down 2 anti-ship ballistic missiles fired by Houthi group in Red Sea: CENTCOM

December 31, 2023 at 9:49 am

US Central Command, CENTCOM [@CENTCOM/Twitter]

The US said Saturday it shot down two anti-ship ballistic missiles in the Red Sea in response to a Houthi attack on a merchant vessel, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Today at approximately 8:30 p.m. (Sanaa time), the container ship MAERSK HANGZHOU reported that they were struck by a missile while transiting the Southern Red Sea.

“The Singapore-flagged, Denmark-owned/operated container ship requested assistance, and the USS GRAVELY (DDG 107) and USS LABOON (DDG 58) have responded to the ship,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) wrote on X.

The vessel is reportedly seaworthy and there are no reported injuries, it said, adding: “This is the 23rd illegal attack by the Houthis on international shipping since Nov. 19.”

Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have significantly stepped up their involvement in the current conflict in the Gaza Strip by targeting vessels in the southern Red Sea. The group has warned that it will attack all Israel-bound ships. It said the attacks are to support Palestinians as they face Israel’s “aggression and siege” in Gaza.

The Red Sea is one of the world’s most frequently used sea routes for oil and fuel shipments.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently announced the creation of a multinational mission — Operation Prosperity Guardian — to counter Houthi attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

READ: Denmark to send frigate to US-led task force in Red Sea