Huthis again attack US ship as Red Sea tensions escalate


Huthis’ attack follows recent retaliatory strikes by US in response to their aggressive actions towards vessels in Red Sea

The Galaxy Leader cargo ship is escorted by Houthi boats in the Red Sea in this photo released November 20, 2023. — Reuters

Huthis have once again targeted a US ship, intensifying the ongoing maritime conflict in a worrisome escalation of tensions in the Red Sea. 

The attack, claimed by the Yemeni group on Friday, follows recent retaliatory strikes by the United States against Huthi positions in response to their aggressive actions towards vessels in the region.

The Huthis, reportedly backed by Iran, asserted responsibility for a precision targeting operation against a US-owned vessel identified as the Chem Ranger in the Gulf of Aden. 

According to the Yemeni group, their naval forces successfully executed the operation using multiple naval missiles, resulting in what they claim were direct hits on the commercial ship. However, the US military contradicted these assertions, stating that the Huthi missiles had missed their intended mark.

The US Central Command, responsible for the Middle East, disclosed that the Huthis launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at the Marshall Island-flagged, Greek-operated tanker. Fortunately, the crew reported no injuries, and the ship sustained no damage as the missiles landed in the water nearby.

The latest attack adds to a series of strikes by the Huthis on shipping in the waters around Yemen since the conflict erupted in Gaza on October 7. The rebels justified their actions by citing “the oppression of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip” and responding to what they perceive as American-British aggression against Yemen.

Despite recent US counterstrikes, Huthi attacks persist. President Joe Biden acknowledged the ongoing threat, stating, “Are they going to continue? Yes.” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby explained that the strikes targeted anti-ship missiles prepared for imminent use in the southern Red Sea. The air raids, ongoing for the past week, have reportedly disrupted and degraded Huthi capabilities.

As the situation escalates, major shipping firms are rerouting vessels away from the region due to increased security concerns.



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