A US-owned container ship was hit by an anti-ship ballistic missile off the coast of Yemen

Men stand near a billboard depicting an Israeli-flagged commercial ship on fire after it was struck by Houthi-allied Yemeni naval forces on a street on January 10, 2024 in Sana’a, Yemen.

Mohammed Hamoud | Getty Images

A container ship owned and operated by the United States was hit by an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Monday, according to the US Central Command.

said the US through social media that the attack occurred around 4:00 p.m. local time (8:00 a.m. ET), but the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, known as the M/V Gibraltar Eagle, reported no injuries or significant damage and continued on its way.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said authorities were investigating the incident, which occurred southeast of Aden, Yemen. The UKMTO said ships were “advised to proceed with caution and report any suspicious activity”.

It comes shortly after the United States and the United Kingdom launched joint strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. The Iran-backed group has been attacking ships sailing through the Red Sea since late last year, wreaking havoc on global trade and drawing international condemnation.

The militants say their attacks in the Red Sea are a response to the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

British maritime security firm Ambrey said the Houthis reportedly fired three missiles, two of which missed the sea and one hit a vessel, according to Reuters.

The US-owned bulk carrier was reportedly sailing in the western lane of the International Recommended Transit Corridor, the shipping route through the Gulf of Aden. The bullet reportedly caused a fire in the cargo hold.

Ambrey reportedly said he assessed the attack as targeting US interests in response to recent military attacks on Houthi military targets in Yemen. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Last week, US and British forces carried out airstrikes on more than 60 targets in 16 Houthi militant sites, including missile launchers, manufacturing facilities and radar systems. The strikes came after the Houthis defied warnings to stop attacking naval vessels in the Red Sea.

The Houthis, who have opposed American and Israeli influence in the Middle East, are not internationally recognized as Yemen’s government but control large parts of the country. This includes the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, a key maritime junction that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

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