Houthis fire missile against Liberian-flagged ship

Houthis fire missile against Liberian-flagged ship

Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired missiles at a Liberian-flagged container ship in the Red Sea. An explosion occurred near the ship, but caused no damage, authorities said.

The ship’s captain reported the explosion Monday and said no one was injured, the British military’s maritime commercial operations center said. The UKMTO later identified the ship as the Pinocchio, run by a Singaporean company.

The Houthis used two anti-ship ballistic missiles in the attack, the US military’s Central Command said.

Houthi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree claimed responsibility for the attack early Tuesday in a pre-recorded statement, saying the Pinocchio was a US ship, without providing evidence to support the claim.

He said the Houthis would continue their attacks, aiming to pressure an end to the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, Houthi attacks on shipping since November have increasingly often had a tenuous or no connection to Israel , the United States or other countries involved in the war.

Monday’s attack comes after a Houthi missile struck a commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden last week, killing three crew members and forcing survivors to abandon ship.

It was the first deadly strike in a campaign of attacks by the Iran-backed group against Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Houthis say these attacks are intended to pressure Israel to stop the war, but their targets increasingly have little or nothing to do with the conflict.

Other recent Houthi actions include last month’s attack on a fertilizer cargo ship, the Rubymar, which sank after drifting for several days, and the shooting down of a US drone worth tens of millions of dollars.

The United States has carried out a series of airstrikes targeting the Houthis since January but has yet to stop rebel attacks on shipping, which has disrupted trade in the Red Sea, a crucial waterway for energy and freight transport between Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

On Monday, US forces carried out six strikes that destroyed a Houthi underwater drone and 18 anti-ship missiles, Central Command said. The Houthis’ Al-Masirah satellite news channel reported US strikes in Yemen’s Houthi-held provinces of Hodeidah and Saada.

Source » msn.com