Iranian-Backed Houthis Launch Anti-Ship Missiles at US VesselWorld | January 19, 2024, Friday // 09:32| views
The already volatile situation in the Red Sea took a dangerous turn as Iranian-backed Houthi rebels launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at the US-owned vessel Chem Ranger. The incident, which occurred on January 18 at approximately 9 p.m. (Sanaa time), raised concerns about the safety of maritime traffic in the region. While the crew aboard the Marshall Island-flagged tanker ship observed the missiles impacting the water near the vessel, fortunately, no injuries or damages were reported.
The US Central Command responded promptly to the attack, launching strikes on 14 Houthi missiles loaded for firing in Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen. The objective, as stated by CENTCOM, was to protect the freedom of navigation and prevent attacks on US and partner maritime traffic in the Red Sea. The strikes aimed to degrade the Houthi capabilities, specifically their ability to conduct reckless attacks on international and commercial shipping routes in the Red Sea, the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden.
General Michael Erik Kurilla, the USCENTCOM Commander, emphasized the ongoing threat posed by the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists, endangering international mariners and disrupting commercial shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea and adjacent waterways. "We will continue to take actions to protect the lives of innocent mariners, and we will always protect our people," he stated.
The Houthi rebels, undeterred by the US strikes, vowed to persist in targeting Israeli ships or vessels heading towards ports in occupied Palestine. Mohammed Abdelsalam, the group's spokesperson, asserted their commitment to supporting the Palestinian people. The US recently redesignated the Houthi group as a "terrorist" organization in response to their continuous attacks and threats to shipping, imposing sanctions. However, the designation is set to take effect after 30 days.
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