Yemen's Houthis claim fresh attacks on 2 U.S. warships in Red Sea

Li Weichao
2024-03-06 22:17:40

SANAA, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Houthis said they launched multiple missile and drone attacks against two U.S. Navy warships in the Red Sea on Tuesday night.

"We carried out a qualitative military operation, targeting two American warships in the Red Sea. The operation was carried out with a number of naval missiles and drones," Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said in a statement aired by the Houthi-run satellite TV channel al-Masirah.

"Our armed forces will not hesitate to expand attacks against all hostile targets to support the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, as well as in response to the U.S.-British aggression against our country (Yemen)," he said.

"Our attacks will not stop until the Israeli offensive in Gaza stops and the siege imposed on the Palestinian people is lifted," Sarea added.

The U.S. Navy is yet to make a comment on the alleged Houthi attacks.

Shortly before the Houthi statement, the U.S.-British military coalition launched five airstrikes on Yemen's port city of Hodeidah, according to al-Masirah TV and local residents.

Two airstrikes hit the area of Ras Issa in the al-Salif district northwest of the city, while three others occurred in the area of al-Jabbanah in the western part of the city, reported al-Masirah TV.

Local residents said on social media that the airstrikes targeted Houthi mobile missile launchers in both areas.

On Monday, Sarea said in a statement aired by al-Masirah TV that his group had fired multiple anti-ship ballistic missiles toward "U.S. Navy ships in the Red Sea and an Israeli commercial vessel, M/V MSC SKY II, in the Gulf of Aden," claiming that the strikes were accurate.

However, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement on social media platform X that the Houthi missiles impacted the water but caused no damage to the U.S. Navy ships in the southern Red Sea.

The command also confirmed that one of the Houthi missiles fired toward the Gulf of Aden impacted M/V MSC SKY II, a Liberian-flagged, Swiss-owned container vessel, inflicting damage.

The Houthis have been targeting shipping vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, particularly those with suspected links to Israel, since November last year, in what they said was an act of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

In response, the U.S.-led coalition has conducted dozens of airstrikes against Houthi targets to deter the group from targeting commercial vessels and disrupting the freedom of international shipping in the region.

Nevertheless, the Houthi group has vowed to escalate and expand its attacks against commercial ships passing through the waters until Israel stops its offensive in Gaza.

The Houthi group has been controlling several northern Yemeni provinces, including the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, since the onset of the Yemeni civil war in late 2014.

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