HMS Diamond, which repelled a Houthis attack in the Red Sea CREDIT: PA

Houthis announce attack on US Navy in Red Sea for first time


Wed, 10-01-2024 02:34 PM, Aden

Red Sea (South24) 

The Houthis announced, for the first time, today that they had attacked the US Navy in the Red Sea, hours after a statement by the US Central Command.

The US Central Command said that the US Navy, along with the British Navy, responded to an attack launched by the Yemeni Houthi militia yesterday evening in southern Red Sea.

In a post on their official X account, Central Command reported: “On January 9, at approximately 9:15 p.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthis launched a complex attack of Iranian designed one-way attack UAVs (OWA UAVs), anti-ship cruise missiles, and an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into the Southern Red Sea, towards international shipping lanes where dozens of merchant vessels were transiting.”

“Eighteen OWA UAVs, two anti-ship cruise missiles, and one anti-ship ballistic missile were shot down by a combined effort of F/A-18s from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS Gravely (DDG 107), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mason (DDG 87), and the United Kingdom’s HMS Diamond (D34). This is the 26th Houthi attack on commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea since Nov. 19. There were no injuries or damage reported," the statement added.

British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, posting on X, wrote: “HMS DIAMOND, along with US warships, has repelled the largest attack by the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea to date. Destroying multiple attack drones with her guns and sea viper missiles".

Shapps’s statement reiterated a previous warning issued by the maritime coalition of the UK and its allies, saying “We will take the action needed to protect innocent lives and the global economy” and that if the Houthis continue, they will “bear the consequences”. 

Speaking to Reuters reporters about the British Navy destroyer HMS Diamond, Defense Secretary Shapps said his understanding was that “the ship itself potentially was targeted” but that there is also a “generalized attack on all shipping (in the region)".

Shapps also told reporters that "this is an unsustainable situation," and hinted at possible further actions by the UK and its international partners, saying "watch this space".

In a statement published on X today, the Houthis’ military spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Sarea, said: “The naval forces, the missile force, and the unmanned air force of the Yemeni armed forces carried out a joint military operation with a large number of ballistic and naval missiles and drones, targeting an American ship that was providing support to the Zionist entity [Israel]".

“The operation came as an initial response to the treacherous attack on our naval forces by the American enemy forces on December 31," the statement added, indicating that the attacks are the first of more to come. 

The statement affirmed the Yemeni armed forces’ commitment to preventing the passage of Israeli ships or those heading to Israeli ports in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, until the Israeli war in the Palestinian Gaza Strip is stopped.

This is the first direct military attack on an American warship in the Red Sea officially claimed by the Houthi militia.

On January 3, 14 countries, including the US, issued a joint statement saying, “the Houthis will bear the responsibility of the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, and free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways".

South24 Center

YemenRed SeaCentral CommandUS NavyUK NavyHouthisIranSaudi ArabiaIsrael