USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
USS Dwight D. EisenhowerREUTERS

The Houthi rebels claimed on Saturday that they attacked the US aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea, but two US officials disputed that claim.

"That is incorrect," one of the officials told Reuters.

The Eisenhower, which ended its deployment to the Red Sea on Saturday and will briefly reposition to the Mediterranean Sea, rushed to the region in the days following Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel.

"The (Eisenhower carrier strike group) protected ships transiting the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb and the Gulf of Aden, rescued innocent mariners against the unlawful attacks from the Iranian-backed Houthis and helped to deter further aggression," the Pentagon said in a statement on Saturday.

In addition to claiming to have attacked the Eisenhower, the Houthis also said they attacked a commercial ship, Transworld Navigator, in the Arabian Sea.

A Houthi statement said the Transworld Navigator took a direct hit from a missile.

Later on Saturday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said its forces successfully destroyed three Iranian-backed Houthi uncrewed surface vessels (USV) in the Red Sea in the last 24 hours.

“It was determined these systems presented an imminent threat to US, coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region. This action was taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US, coalition, and merchant vessels,” the statement said.

Separately, CETNCOM said, Iranian-backed Houthis launched three anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) from a Houthi controlled area of Yemen into the Gulf of Aden. There were no injuries or significant damage reported by US, coalition, or merchant vessels, said the statement.

“This continued malign and reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Houthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza, and yet they threaten and have taken the lives of innocent civilians who have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza. CENTCOM will continue to act with partners to hold the Houthis accountable and degrade their military capabilities,” said the US military.

The Iran-aligned Houthis have been targeting commercial ships in the Red Sea region since November, in what they say are attacks in solidarity with Palestinian Arabs in Gaza.

In the wake of the uptick in Houthi attacks, the US formed a coalition, made up of more than 20 countries, aimed at safeguarding commercial traffic in the Red Sea from attacks by the Houthis.

In mid-January, with support from other countries, the US and Britain targeted just under 30 Houthi locations with 150 different weapons. They have since carried out several rounds of strikes against Houthi targets.

The Houthis have been unfazed by the strikes, saying that the campaign against the "Zionist enemy" will continue and that the attacks against the American and British ships will not stop.

This past Wednesday, Al Jazeera TV published footage showing an attack by the Houthis in the Red Sea against the MV Tutor ship about a week ago, using two explosive boats.

The Houthis claimed that the ship was attacked because its owner ignored warnings not to sail to Israeli ports.