Highlights

  • Houthis claimed responsibility for an attack on a number of American ships
  • US officials said two American-flagged ships carrying cargo came under attack by Houthis
  • Houthis said the attack involved a direct hit to an American warship

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Houthis confirm attack on US warship, commercial vessels

Houthis say they attacked a US warship in the Red Sea on Wednesday

Houthis confirm attack on US warship, commercial vessels

Houthi military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an attack on a number of American military ships in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Earlier in the day, U.S officials said two American-flagged ships carrying cargo for the U.S. Defense and State departments came under attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels with the U.S. Navy intercepting some of the incoming fire.

“The engagement led to the following, a direct hit to an American warship and forcing the two American commercial ships to withdraw and head back,” Saree said.

The attacks on the container ships Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake further raise the stakes of the group's ongoing attacks on shipping through the vital Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

The U.S. and the U.K. have launched multiple rounds of airstrikes seeking to stop the attacks.

Saree added that the Yemeni armed forces have used several ballistic missiles in the engagement that lasted for more than two hours.

Meanwhile, Qatar, one of the world's top exporters of liquified natural gas, warned that its deliveries were affected by ongoing Houthi attacks over Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Danish shipper Maersk, in a statement to The Associated Press, identified two of its vessels affected by the attacks as the U.S.-flagged container ships Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake.

It said the U.S. Navy was accompanying its ships at the time.

“While en route, both ships reported seeing explosions close by and the U.S. Navy accompaniment also intercepted multiple projectiles,” Maersk said. “The crew, ship, and cargo are safe and unharmed. The U.S. Navy has turned both ships around and is escorting them back to the Gulf of Aden.”

The Houthis, who have been launching attacks on ships since November over Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, vowed to continue their attacks.

Since November, the rebels have repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea, saying they were avenging Israel’s offensive in Gaza against Hamas.

But they have frequently targeted vessels with tenuous or no clear links to Israel, imperiling shipping in a key route for global trade.

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