Houthi forces carried out another missile attack on a US-owned vessel on Thursday, following President Joe Biden’s statement that American strikes have not been successful in deterring the militants’ activities in the Red Sea.
The Pentagon has confirmed that there were no reports of damage or injuries following the launch of two missiles at the MV Chem Ranger.
Following a series of US strikes in Yemen earlier on Thursday, the attack took place.
The White House has announced that US forces successfully neutralized a number of Houthi missiles that were intended to be launched towards the Red Sea.
Following the US strikes, reporters in Washington DC questioned Mr. Biden about the effectiveness of the attacks on Houthi targets.
“So, are they actually making progress in countering the Houthis?” “No,” he replied.
“Will they keep going?” Sure.”
In a statement, US Central Command announced that it had carried out strikes on two Houthi anti-ship missiles in the Southern Red Sea. The missiles were ready to be launched, but were successfully neutralised.
At approximately 15:40 local time (12:40GMT), US forces detected the presence of missiles in areas of Yemen under Houthi control. After careful assessment, it was concluded that these missiles posed an immediate danger to both merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region.
“US forces later targeted and neutralised the missiles in a defensive action.”
Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh later assured reporters at a briefing that the intention is not to engage in war.
“We are not engaged in any conflict with the Houthis. The measures we are implementing are purely defensive.
Centcom has also confirmed the reported incident involving the MV Chem Ranger. Authorities have reported that two missiles were launched at a ship owned by the United States and flagged with the Marshall Islands, but fortunately, both missiles failed to reach their target.
According to a statement from Yemen’s military spokesperson, the ship was reportedly hit directly.
A US-owned vessel was also struck on Wednesday, just hours after Washington re-designated the Houthis as a terrorist organisation.
In a passionate address on Thursday, the leader of the Houthis expressed his deep appreciation for being involved in a direct confrontation with Israel, the US, and the UK, considering it a tremendous honour.
“The aggression against our beloved people is a clear violation, a direct encroachment on Yemen’s sovereignty, and a direct assault on the Yemeni people,” stated Abdul Malik al-Houthi.
In November, the Houthis initiated attacks on merchant vessels, citing their response to Israel’s military operation in Gaza. Since then, the group has carried out numerous attacks on commercial tankers traversing the Red Sea, a highly trafficked shipping route.
As a response, a series of air strikes were carried out by the US and UK against numerous Houthi targets on 11 January. The strikes, backed by Australia, Bahrain, the Netherlands, and Canada, were initiated when Houthi forces disregarded a final warning to halt their attacks in the area.