Houthis target US warship amidst escalating tensions in Red Sea

SANA’A — Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched an anti-ship cruise missile at a US destroyer in the Red Sea on Sunday. The missile was intercepted and destroyed by a US fighter jet, marking the first acknowledged attack by the Houthis since the commencement of American-led strikes against them.

The attack, aimed at the USS Laboon, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, comes as part of a broader conflict affecting global shipping routes, coinciding with Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Houthis, a Shiite rebel group with ties to Iran, captured Yemen’s capital in 2014. While they did not immediately claim responsibility for the missile strike, it adds another layer of complexity to an already volatile situation.

The missile was launched from the vicinity of Hodeida, a Red Sea port city under Houthi control. The US military’s Central Command reported that there were no injuries or damages resulting from the attack.

The US-led strikes on Friday targeted 28 locations and over 60 Houthi-controlled sites with cruise missiles and bombs. While the extent of the damage remains unclear, the Houthis reported five casualties and six injuries among their forces. US forces followed up with a strike on a Houthi radar site on Saturday.

Shipping in the Red Sea has been significantly impacted by the attacks, prompting the US Navy to issue warnings for American-flagged vessels to avoid certain areas for 72 hours.

The Houthis, who have been targeting ships in the Red Sea since November, claim to be retaliating against Israel’s actions in Gaza. However, their attacks have often targeted vessels with no clear connection to Israel, raising concerns about the safety of this crucial trade route.