MSC Tavvishi ship. Image Copyright © carlo martinelli

Houthis strike three ships with missiles in the Gulf of Aden


Sun, 09-06-2024 08:08 PM, Aden

Sanaa (South24) 

The Houthis launched a series of missile attacks targeting three commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden, including an Antigua- and Barbuda-flagged cargo vessel.

The first incident occurred late on Saturday when a missile hit the forward section of the Antigua- and Barbuda-flagged ship, sparking a fire that was later extinguished by the crew, according to the Associated Press, citing British private security firm Ambrey. A second missile missed the ship, and it also came under fire from militants on small boats, although no one on board was injured.

Likewise, the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) center reported the attack and fire in the same area off Aden, saying “damage control is underway.”

Separately, Ambrey and UKMTO said they had received a report about another incident 70 nautical miles southwest of Aden.

"The master reports that the vessel was hit by an unknown projectile on the aft section, which resulted in a fire. Damage control is underway," UKMTO said in advisory note.

They added that no casualties were reported and the vessel was proceeding to its next port of call.

Hours later, UKMTO reported a third incident 89 nautical miles southwest of Aden. However the ship continued sailing and had no causalities.

In a statement on Sunday, the Houthis announced that they targeted a British destroyer in the Red Sea, and two commercial ships in the Arabian Sea.

The Houthi military spokesman, Yahya Sarea, said in a statement on the X platform that his group targeted the British warship destroyer "HMS Diamond" in the Red Sea with several ballistic missiles.

He added that two operations were carried out against two ships: the Norderney ship, which was directly hit, leading to a fire, and the MSC Tavvishi ship in the Arabian Sea.

Sarea said that the two ships belonged to shipping companies that violated the ban on entering Israeli ports.

He pointed out that the two operations were carried out with multiple naval and ballistic missiles and drones, and that the hit was direct.

Since last November, the Houthis have launched dozens of missile and drone attacks against commercial ships, causing unprecedented effect in international shipping traffic in Bab al-Mandab.

Related: Houthis Threat to Expand Maritime Attacks Toward the Mediterranea: What Next? 

While the Houthis link their attacks to the Israeli war on Gaza, local opponents, such as the Southern Transitional Council, argue the attacks are driven by the Houthis' expansionist goals within Yemen.

South24 Center

YemenMaritimeHouthisVesselsCommercial shipsRed SeaBab al-MandebUKMTODroneNorderneyTavvishiArabian SeaYahyea SareaDiamondBab al-Mandab