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Yemen's Huthis fired three missiles at ships in Red Sea: US

By AFP

January 24, 2024 11:15 PM


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Yemen's Huthi rebels launched missiles at ships in the Red Sea on Wednesday, but two were intercepted and the third missed, the White House said.

US and British forces carried out two rounds of joint strikes aimed at reducing the Huthis' ability to target shipping, while Washington has also launched a series of unilateral air raids on missiles that were ready to fire -- but the Iran-backed rebels have vowed to continue their attacks.

"There were three Huthi missiles fired at two merchant vessels in the southern Red Sea, one missile missed ... and the other two were shot down by a US Navy destroyer," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

"It obviously underscores that the Huthis still intend to conduct these attacks, which means we're obviously still going to have to do what we have to do to protect that shipping."

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said the missiles were fired "toward the US-flagged, owned, and operated container ship M/V Maersk Detroit," but did not mention a second vessel being targeted.

"There were no reported injuries or damage to the ship," CENTCOM said in a statement.

The Huthis began striking Red Sea shipping in November, saying they were hitting Israeli-linked vessels in support of Palestinians in Gaza, which has been ravaged by the Israel-Hamas war.

The Yemeni rebels have since declared US and British interests to be legitimate targets as well.

Pentagon spokesman Major General Pat Ryder said Tuesday that it had been several days since the last Huthi attack, but noted that "they do maintain some capability" and that "it's not out of the question that there could be additional strikes."

In addition to military action, Washington is seeking to put diplomatic and financial pressure on the Huthis, redesignating them as a terrorist organization last week after previously having dropped that label soon after President Joe Biden took office.


AFP


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