U.S. says Houthis launched missiles at tanker ship but no damage caused



    Members of the Yemeni Coast Guard affiliated with the Houthi group patrol the sea as demonstrators march through the Red Sea port city of Hodeida in solidarity with the people of Gaza on January 4, 2024, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the militant Hamas group in Gaza.

    – | Afp | Getty Images

    The Iran-backed Houthi militia launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at a U.S.-owned tanker ship late on Thursday that hit the water near the vessel but caused no injuries or damage, the U.S. military said.

    The incident, the latest amid growing tensions in the Red Sea that have disrupted global trade and raised fears of supply bottlenecks, took place around 9 p.m. Yemen time (1800 GMT), according to a U.S. Central Command post on X, formerly called Twitter.

    The Houthis, who control most of Yemen, earlier on Thursday claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they targeted the ship Chem Ranger with naval missiles that caused “direct hits”.

    No indication U.S. strikes are changing calculation of the Houthis, says RBC's Helima Croft

    Monitoring service TankerTrackers.com said on social media that the “fairly small chemical tanker left the Red Sea port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for Kuwait, but her AIS (automatic identification system) went offline on (Tuesday) before proceeding south past Yemen.”

    The Houthis say their attacks are in solidarity with Palestinians under attack from Israel in Gaza.

    Since last week, the United States has launched strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, and this week returned the militia to a list of “terrorist” groups. President Joe Biden told reporters on Thursday that air strikes would continue even if they may not be halting the Houthi attacks.

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