Yemen’s Houthi group yesterday announced that it had hit an American warship and forced two commercial ships to retreat in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab Al-Mandab Strait.
In a televised statement, Houthi military spokesman, Yahya Saree, said: “In support against the oppression of the Palestinian people, and as part of the response to the American-British aggression against our country, we clashed with a number of American destroyers and warships in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab Al-Mandab Strait.”
“The clash took place while the ships were providing protection for two American commercial ships, and it lasted more than two hours,” he added.
Saree confirmed: “A US warship was directly hit, and the two commercial ships were forced to retreat and return.”
“A number of ballistic missiles from the warships hit their targets, despite an attempt to intercept them, and the [Houthi] armed forces used a number of ballistic missiles in the clash,” he added.
“The armed forces [of the group] will continue to prevent Israeli navigation or navigation heading to the occupied ports of Palestine in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea until the [Israeli] aggression stops and the siege on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is lifted,” he stressed.
There was no immediate comment from the American side on the Houthis’ claims, but the US Central Command announced earlier yesterday that Houthis “targeted a [American] ship in the Gulf of Aden with three missiles, two of which were intercepted, while the third fell into the sea, without injuries.”
The US and UK launched air strikes on what they said were Houthi targets in Yemen on 11 January in an effort to stop the group’s activities. Last week, when asked whether the US bombing campaign was “working”, President Joe Biden replied: “Well, when you say ‘working,’ are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes.”
In solidarity with Gaza, which has been subjected to a devastating genocidal Israeli war with American support since 7 October, the Houthis are targeting Israel-bound vessels in the Red Sea, which has negatively affected global supply chains.