Aircraft joins strikes against Houthis
Aircraft joins strikes against HouthisReuters

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Wednesday a vessel belonging to the coalition fighting the Houthis “successfully engaged one anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) launched from Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist-controlled areas in Yemen over the Gulf of Aden.”

CENTCOM said in a statement the ASBM was likely targeting the MV Yorktown, a US-flagged, owned, and operated vessel with 18 U.S. and four Greek crew members. “There were no injuries or damage reported by US, coalition, or commercial ships,” it added.

In a separate incident, CENTCOM successfully engaged and destroyed four airborne unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) over Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, the statement said.

“It was determined that the ASBM and UAVs presented an imminent threat to US, coalition, and merchant vessels in the region. These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US, coalition, and merchant vessels.”

Earlier, the Houthis’ military spokesperson, Yahya Sarea, said the Iranian-backed rebels attacked what they said were two American ships and an Israeli vessel.

Sarea named the Yorktown and Israeli ship MSC Veracruz in the Indian Ocean.

"The Yemeni armed forces confirm they will continue to prevent Israeli navigation or any navigation heading to the ports of occupied Palestine in the Red and Arabian Seas, as well as in the Indian Ocean," Sarea said.

The Houthis have upped their attacks on vessels in the Red Sea since the start of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza as a show of support for Palestinian Arabs.

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. The two countries have continued to strike Houthi targets since.

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.