Houthi attack on 'Galaxy Leader' ship
Houthi attack on 'Galaxy Leader' shipReuters, Handout

Yahya Sare'e, the military spokesman for the Houthi terrorist organization, claimed that the Yemeni group attacked a ship yesterday that refused the Houthis' orders to stop and was on its way to Israel, the latest such attack on commercial and merchant vessels in the Red Sea by the Iranian-backed rebel group.

The ship, CMA CGM TAGE, reportedly carried the flag of Malta and according to the Houthis was sailing to Israel. French shipping firm CMA CGM told Reuters that the vessel was not damaged and that its destination was Egypt, contrary to the Houthi claims.

The Houthis added that the decision to attack the boat came after the group announced that it would prevent the passage of any Israeli ship or a ship that intends to reach Israel.

According to Sare'e, any attack against Houthi forces by the US would be met with a response.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that US helicopters sank three Houthi boats in the Red Sea. According to US Central Command (CENTCOM), the container ship Maersk Hangzhou issued a second distress call in less than 24 hours reporting being under attack by four Iranian-backed Houthi small boats.

The small boats, originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, fired crew-served and small arms weapons at the Maersk Hangzhou, getting to within 20 meters of the vessel, and attempted to board the vessel. A contract embarked security team on the ship returned fire.

The helicopters sank the boats and killed those aboard, marking the first occasion since tensions broke out last year that the US has killed members of the Houthi group.