US military confirms 2 merchant ships were hit by Houthi missiles in Gulf of Aden

The US military on Monday confirmed that two commercial vessels passing through the Red Sea were hit in attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militia of Yemen in the last 24 hours.

In a statement posted on X, the US Central Command, or CENTCOM, said two anti-ship ballistic missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into the Gulf of Aden.

One missile was successfully destroyed by a coalition ship, but the other missile struck the M/V Tavvishi, a Liberian-flagged, Swiss-owned and operated container ship.

“M/V Tavvishi reported damage but has continued underway,” the statement said.

“Separately, Iranian-backed Houthis launched one ASBM and one anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) into the Gulf of Aden.  Both missiles struck M/V Norderney, an Antigua and Barbados-flagged, German-owned and operated cargo ship. M/V Norderney reported damage but has continued underway,” the statement continued.

“There were no injuries reported by US, coalition, or merchant vessels,” it said.

CENTCOM also said its forces successfully destroyed one a hostile drone over the Gulf of Aden, as well as two Houthi land attack cruise missiles (LACM) and one missile launcher in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. 

Earlier reports quoting, which provides information on ships and their positions, said the Norderney was traveling from India to Lebanon and was in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday.

Yemen’s Houthi militia claimed on Sunday they attack two merchant vessels for defying the militia’s embargo on traveling to Israeli ports.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said in a television statement that their forces also targeted the UK warship HMS Diamond with ballistic missiles in the Red Sea in response to the US-UK joint strikes on militia positions in Yemen.

The Houthis control the most populous parts of Yemen and have attacked merchant ships since November in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The militants have sunk one ship, seized a different vessel and killed three crew members in a yet another attack.

Their campaign has disrupted global shipping by forcing vessels to avoid the nearby Suez Canal and reroute trade around Africa. The action also has stoked fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spread and destabilize the wider Middle East.

The United States and Britain have carried out strikes against Houthi targets in response to the attacks.

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