True Confidence

Likely fatalities in Houthi ship attack in Gulf of Aden


Wed, 06-03-2024 06:32 PM, Aden

Aden (South24) 

Today, a cargo ship suffered damage and possible fatalities following a new attack by the Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi militia in the Gulf of Aden.

In a statement reported by Reuters, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said that in the early afternoon hours of March 6, a commercial ship was damaged in an attack in South Yemen, 54 nautical miles southwest of Aden, and that coalition forces were supporting it.

In a separate report, British security firm Ambrey disclosed that a US-owned, Barbados-flagged ship had been approached by an entity declaring itself to be the “Yemeni Navy” and ordered to change course.

“Ambrey observed an Indian Navy military vessel drifting in the vicinity of the last known position of the affected vessel," the report added.

According to Reuters, other reports stated that rescue and salvage operations were underway, with parts of the crew already in lifeboats.

The Associated Press (AP) quoted officials as saying that the attack targeted a Barbados-flagged cargo tanker named 'True Confidence' after it received calls over the radio to alter its course.

According to the VesselFinder navigation website, True Confidence was en route to the Saudi port of Jeddah and was expected to arrive there tomorrow, March 7.

The website states that True Confidence is a 13-year-old bulk carrier built in 2011 and currently sailing under the Barbados flag.

Later reports from AP News today indicate that the attack led to “fatalities”, according to US officials speaking on condition of anonymity. Little is known yet about the potential deaths. 

Shortly after, CNN Arabic reported that a US official had confirmed that casualties had occurred abroad True Confidence, but offered no further details. 

The British Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, posted on their official X account that “at least two innocent sailors died”.

Several hours after the attack, the military spokesman for the Houthis, Yahya Sarea, issued a statement declaring the Iran-backed group’s responsibility. 

The statement confirmed that the American ship True Confidence had been targeted with several naval missiles, following what Sarea described as “rejected warning messages from the Yemeni naval force”, leading to the breakout of a fire. 

The statement did not mention any fatalities.

Though the fatalities have yet to be officially confirmed, if proven to be accurate, they would signal a serious incident and a major escalation by the Houthis.  The Houthis maritime attacks have, prior to today, caused no deaths or injuries.  

This is the latest attack by the Houthis against commercial ships crossing the Gulf of Aden, Bab al-Mandab and the Red Sea, as part of a wider series that began last November.

Yesterday, the military spokesman for the Houthis, Yahya Sarea, announced in a statement on X that they had launched an attack with naval missiles and drones targeting two American war destroyers in the Red Sea.

Likely referring to the same incident, US Central Command said in a post on X yesterday that its forces had shot down an anti-ship ballistic missile and three attack drones that were launched from Houthi-controlled areas toward the USS Carney destroyer in the Red Sea.

The statement indicated that "there were no injuries or damage to the ship."

In later attacks yesterday, US forces also destroyed three Houthi anti-ship missiles and three drone boats, according to the statement.

Yesterday, Houthi media outlets reported on several raids which they said were launched by US-UK warplanes in the Al-Jabbana and Ras Issa areas in the coastal Hodeidah Governorate.

South24 Center

South YemenHouthisGulf of AdenMissileNavalRed Sea