Houthi Rebels Fired at 2 Commercial Ships in Red Sea Days After US, UK Hit Dozens of Houthi Targets in Yemen

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 07, 2024 02:37 AM EST

The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fired missiles at two commercial vessels in the Red Sea on Tuesday, the first attacks since the US and UK launched strikes against dozens of Houthi targets in Yemen over the weekend.

According to Reuters, the Yemen-based group's military spokesman said they fired naval missiles at the Star Nasia and Morning Tide and identified these ships as American and British.

(Photo : AFP via Getty Images)
A picture taken during an organised tour by Yemen's Huthi rebels on November 22, 2023 shows the Galaxy Leader cargo ship (R), seized by Huthi fighters two days earlier, docked at a port on the Red Sea in Yemen's province of Hodeida.

Houthi Rebels Launched Two Attacks on Commercial Vessels in the Red Sea

Fox News reported that two US defense officials said the first attack involved three Houthi missiles fired toward the Star Nasia in the Red Sea. They said the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel is not affiliated with the US despite the Houthi spokesperson claiming otherwise.

According to a Greek shipping ministry official, the Greek-owned bulk carrier, managed by Star Bulk Carrier, reportedly had minor damage, but no crew was injured.

The US military's Central Command said a US Navy vessel operating near the Star Nasia shot down one of the missiles. The ship, still seaworthy, reportedly continued toward its destination. It was carrying US coal to India.

The US officials said the second attack saw the Houthi rebels firing a missile at the UK-operated vessel Morning Tide. Minor damage, but no injuries were also reported. The Barbados-flagged ship was now sailing without problems.

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Houthi Rebels Vow to Attack Commercial Vessels in Red Sea

Since mid-November, the Houthis have been using drones and missiles to target commercial ships in the Red Sea to show support for the Palestinian militant group Hamas in its fight against Israel.

Since then, more than 45 attacks against ships reportedly happened, which prompted dozens of shipping companies to reroute their vessels or suspend transits through the Red Sea to avoid being targeted.

According to Fox News, the latest incidents mark the 47th and 48th attacks by the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. These attacks are the first since the US and UK forces led strikes on Saturday that destroyed 36 Houthi targets at 13 locations in Yemen.

The US and UK started striking Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen last month in retaliation for the attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea. On Sunday, a Houthi spokesman said the militant group will continue its crusade of obstructing regional trade "no matter the sacrifices it costs" them. 

READ MORE: Oil Prices Surge After US, Britain Strike Back at Houthi Rebels in Yemen

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