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Sunday, February 25, 2024

More ships in Red Sea attacked by Houthis – CENTCOM

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 Several more merchant ships in the southern Red Sea have been attacked by ballistic missiles launched by Yemen’s Ansar Allah rebel movement, also known as the Houthis, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) said, adding that no damage had been reported.

“Houthis fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles [ASMBs] from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen into the Southern Red Sea. Multiple commercial ships in the area reported the impact of the ASBMs into the surrounding water, though none have reported any damage,” the command wrote on X on Tuesday.

The attack took place at around 9:30 p.m. local time (18:30 GMT) on January 2, CENTCOM said, adding that it was the 24th attack on merchant ships in the southern Red Sea since November 19, 2023.

“These illegal actions endangered the lives of dozens of innocent mariners and continue to disrupt the free flow of international commerce,” CENTCOM stated.

Last week, the USS Gravely shot down two anti-ship ballistic missiles in the Red Sea in response to a Houthi attack on the Singapore-flagged ship Hangzhou of Danish shipping company Maersk, CENTCOM stated.

Later that week, the commercial vessel Hangzhou was again attacked by the Houthis, CENTCOM said, adding that US helicopters had sunk the attacking vessels.

On Tuesday, Maersk announced it would halt all shipping transit through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden indefinitely after the attack on its vessel.

In November 2023, Yemen’s Ansar Allah rebel movement announced its intention to attack any ships associated with Israel, urging other countries to recall their crews from the vessels. The Houthis vowed to continue its attacks until Israel ends its military actions in the Gaza Strip.

On December 19, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the establishment of a multinational operation to secure the Red Sea, saying that the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the Seychelles, and Spain would take part in the mission, although Madrid has not officially confirmed its participation yet. The Houthis vowed to attack any ships that join the US-led maritime coalition.

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