SANAA : The US Military said Iran-backed Houthis launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at an American-owned tanker ship in the Red Sea on Thursday night that hit the water near the vessel, causing no injuries or damage. “Third Houthi Terrorists Attack on Commercial Shipping Vessel in Three Days. On Jan. 18 at approximately 9 p.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at M/V Chem Ranger, a Marshall Island-flagged, U.S.-Owned, Greek-operated tanker ship. The crew observed the missiles impact the water near the ship. There were no reported injuries or damage to the ship. The ship has continued underway,” the US Central Command said in a post on social media platform X (formally Twitter).
The development comes as Yemen-based Houthis claimed earlier on Friday that they had launched a missile attack on a US ship in the Gulf of Aden. In a statement, Houthis said their “naval forces… carried out a targeting operation against an American ship” – identified as the Chem Ranger – “with several appropriate naval missiles, resulting in direct hits”.
The Houthis, however, did not give more details about the time of the attack.
Houthis aggression in Red Sea
Houthi attacks against vessels in and around the Red Sea have led to strikes in Yemen by United States and British forces in recent days.
According to Marine Traffic, the Chem Ranger is a Marshall Islands-flagged chemical tanker sailing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Kuwait.
British maritime risk management company Ambrey said a Marshallese chemical tanker sailing along the same route had reported a “suspicious” approach by drones southeast of the Yemeni port of Aden.
Indian warship responds
Ambrey said one drone fell into the sea approximately 30 metres from the tanker. “An Indian warship responded to the event,” it said.
“There were no crew casualties or damage reported,” it added. The British Maritime Security Agency UKMTO, without naming the vessel, also reported an incident in the same area in which a drone approached a merchant ship, with an explosion reported in the water about 30 metres away.