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U.S. Ship Hit by Missile from Houthi-Controlled Yemen

2024.01.16

 

Key Takeaways

  • U.S.-owned M/V Gibraltar Eagle struck by missile from Yemen’s Houthi region.
  • Incident follows recent U.S.-U.K. joint military actions against Houthi targets.

Maritime Incident in Conflict-Ridden Waters

The U.S. Central Command reported that the M/V Gibraltar Eagle, a U.S.-owned container ship, was hit by an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Monday. The attack occurred at around 4 p.m. local time, with the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel reporting no injuries or significant damage. Despite the incident, the ship continued its journey, highlighting the persistent risks in the conflict-ridden region.

Rising Tensions in Strategic Maritime Routes

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations organization (UKMTO) is investigating the attack, which took place southeast of Aden in Yemen. The UKMTO has advised ships transiting the area to exercise caution and report any suspicious activities. This incident underscores the strategic importance of maritime routes through the Gulf of Aden and the growing concerns over maritime security in the region.

Houthi Attacks and International Response

The Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, claimed responsibility for the attack on the M/V Gibraltar Eagle. These militants have been targeting ships in the Red Sea since late last year, causing disruptions to global trade and eliciting international condemnation. The attack on the U.S.-owned vessel follows joint military strikes by the U.S. and U.K. against Houthi targets in Yemen, signaling an escalation in the conflict.

Technical Analysis and Future Outlook

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Background of the Conflict and Military Actions

The recent missile strike by the Houthis is seen as a response to ongoing military actions in the Gaza Strip and the larger conflict in the Middle East. Last week, U.S. and U.K. forces conducted airstrikes on over 60 Houthi militant targets in Yemen, including missile launch sites and radar systems. These strikes were a direct response to the Houthis’ defiance of warnings to cease targeting maritime vessels in the Red Sea.

The Strategic Importance of Bab el-Mandeb Strait

The Houthis, who control large parts of Yemen including the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, pose a significant threat to one of the world’s crucial maritime chokepoints. This strait connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and is vital for international shipping and trade. The ongoing conflict in Yemen and the Houthis’ control of strategic locations have raised concerns about the safety and security of maritime passage in the area.

 


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US Leads Naval Force to Protect Red Sea Shipping Amid Houthi Threats

 

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