Houthi rebels attack third ship in as many days

US Central Command says two ballistic missiles impacted near vessel but no damage or injuries reported

A police officer at a protest against recent US-led strikes on Houthi targets, near Yemen's capital Sanaa. Reuters
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US Central Command said Houthi rebels launched their third attack in as many days, targeting a commercial ship on Thursday night.

No damage or injuries were reported.

Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at MV Chem Ranger,” Centcom said on X.

“The crew observed the missiles impact the water near the ship.”

Centcom said the MV Chem Ranger is a Marshal Islands-flagged, Greek-operated and US-owned ship.

“There were no reported injuries or damage to the ship,” the statement added.

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 9pm local time, said Centcom.

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 US has launched at least five strikes on the Iran-backed Houthis in order to try to prevent further attacks on commercial or civilian shipments in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The Houthis, who control part of Yemen, say they're trying to stop all vessels travelling to Israel, in protest against the country's war on Gaza.

The group said in a statement posted on their social media claiming that their “naval forces … carried out a targeting operation against an American ship … with several appropriate naval missiles, resulting in direct hits”.

It also said that rebels were acting against “the oppression of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and within the response to the American-British aggression against our country”.

US President Joe Biden told reporters that the US strikes are not stopping the Houthis, but said they will continue.

“Are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes,” Mr Biden said.

Updated: January 19, 2024, 7:05 AM