Houthi ballistic missile strikes US-owned and operated vessel: CENTCOM

A Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile struck a US-owned and operated vessel on Monday, US Central Command has announced in a statement.

The M/V Gibraltar Eagle, a Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier owned and operated by US-based Eagle Bulk, sustained minor damage and did not report any injuries, Central Command said. The ship is continuing on its way.

The military did not give a specific location for the attack, but the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it received a report of the incident approximately 95 nautical miles southeast of Aden.

“Vessels are advised to transit with caution and report any suspicious activity to UKMTO,” it added.

Earlier in the day, the Houthis attempted to launch an anti-ship ballistic missile that failed in flight and crashed in Yemen, Central Command claimed.

UK-based maritime security group Ambrey has also said that a total of three missiles were launched toward the Red Sea on Monday. The group added two of the three missiles did not reach the sea and the third one impacted a US-owned and operated vessel.

“The vessel arrived in the Gulf of Aden after the industry and military advice to avoid the southern Red Sea and Bab el-Mandeb Strait,” Ambrey noted.

A statement from Eagle Bulk Shipping on Monday confirmed that the Gibraltar Eagle, which is carrying a cargo of steel products, was hit “by an unidentified projectile” roughly 100 miles offshore in the Gulf of Aden.

The Houthi movement in Yemen has announced that it will be expanding its targets to include US ships after the US and UK launched a series of air strikes on Yemeni land positions last week.

Nasruldeen Amer, a Houthi spokesperson, told Al Jazeera on Monday that Washington was “on the verge of losing its maritime security”.

Yemen’s Houthi group’s chief negotiator, Mohammed Abdulsalam, hasl also stated on Monday that attacks on Red Sea ships will continue despite US and UK air strikes on Yemen.

“Attacks to stop Israeli ships or those heading to the ports of the occupied Palestine will continue,” Abdulsalam told Reuters news agency.

In solidarity with the Palestinians in besieged territory, the Yemeni armed forces have targeted ships in the Red Sea with owners linked to Israel or those going to and from ports in the occupied territories.

In response, the US has formed a military coalition against Yemeni forces in the Red Sea and endangered maritime navigation in the strategic waterway.

The US and the UK, backed by Bahrain, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands, struck more than 60 targets at almost 30 locations in Yemen on Friday, killing five people and injuring six others.

On Saturday, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that a “follow-on action” was conducted against a Yemeni radar facility in Sana’a by the Navy destroyer USS Carney using Tomahawk land attack missiles.

The assaults prompted Yemen’s Supreme Political Council to issue a statement, saying “all American-British interests have become legitimate targets”.

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