Home Africa Merchant Vessel Hit By Suspected Houthi Missile Off Yemen Coast

Merchant Vessel Hit By Suspected Houthi Missile Off Yemen Coast

Houthi attacks
File Photo: Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea chants slogans after delivering a statement on the group's latest attacks, in Sanaa, Yemen May 24, 2024. (Khaled Abdullah/ REUTERS)

A merchant vessel reported being hit by a projectile in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen on Thursday, British security firm Ambrey said.

No injuries or damage were reported in the incident, which occurred 84 nautical miles west of Yemen’s port of Hodeidah, Ambrey added. The vessel was headed for city of Dammam in Saudi Arabia.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) also said it had received a report of the incident.

Ambrey said a warship in the area was responding to the incident but neither the British nor the US militaries immediately reported the strike.

International shipping has been disrupted by attacks in the region launched by Yemen-based Houthi militants since November.

The Houthis did not immediately claim responsibility for the strike. Typically, such acknowledgements take hours or even days to be released.

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On Wednesday, the Houthis had released a video of what they claimed was a hypersonic ballistic missile. The missile, also called Hatem-2, was reportedly used to strike an Israeli vessel in the Arabian Sea on Tuesday.

It’s not clear if the same missile was used in today’s attack on the merchant vessel.  Many vessels have since opted to avoid the Red Sea route to the Suez Canal, taking the longer journey around the southern tip of Africa instead.

The Iran-aligned Houthis say the attacks are in solidarity with Palestinians in the war between Israel and militant Islamist group Hamas.

The US military’s Southern Command said it had destroyed a Houthi radar site while the latter claimed an attack on Monday, on the Liberian flagged Greek managed container ship MSC Sarah V. The Houthi army spokesman Brig-Gen Yahya Saree made the claim during a briefing.

The Houthis have also claimed to have attacked a Portuguese-flagged ship Manzanillo, in Israel’s Haifa harbour, using drones. They said it was done in cooperation with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. But Israel said it was not aware of any such incident.