Creating new perspectives since 2009

US says Houthis fired 3 missiles at ships in Red Sea

January 25, 2024 at 12:34 pm

National Security Council Coordinator For Strategic Communications John Kirby talks to reporters at the White House in Washington, DC on October 31, 2023 [Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Yemen’s Houthis fired another volley of ballistic missiles at commercial vessels in the Red Sea, the White House said yesterday, vowing reprisals, Anadolu reported.

The three Houthi missiles were fired at two merchant ships in the southern Red Sea, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. One of the missiles missed its target by 200 kilometres (124 miles) while the other two were downed by a US Navy destroyer.

The attack, Kirby said, “underscores that the Houthis still intend to conduct these attacks, which means we’re obviously still gonna have to do what we have to have to do to protect that shipping.”

The US military, however, said that only one ship was fired upon, identifying it as “the U.S.- flagged, owned, and operated container ship M/V Maersk Detroit”. The discrepancy could not be immediately resolved.

The US conducted strikes early yesterday morning that destroyed two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles “that were aimed into the Southern Red Sea and were prepared to launch,” said the military.

American and allied strikes against the Houthis, intended to prevent the group from targeting Israeli-bound vessels in the Red Sea, have been ongoing since 11 January.

The Red Sea is one of the world’s most frequently used sea routes for oil and fuel shipments. It is used to transit between Egypt’s Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden, allowing ships to avoid the much costlier and longer route across the southern coast of Africa.

The Houthis said their attacks are to pressure Israel to halt its deadly onslaught on the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 26,500 Palestinians since 7 October.

READ: Insurance underwriters insert ‘no connection to Israel’ clause for shipping