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New Footage Shows Houthi Missile Hitting a Merchant Ship

Houthi missiles on parade
File image courtesy Houthi Military Media

Published Jan 21, 2024 12:34 AM by The Maritime Executive

A Greek television station has released leaked video footage of the missile attack on a Greek-managed bulker in the Red Sea last week. 

At 1345 hours local time on January 16, Houthi militants fired a missile (believed to be an anti-ship ballistic missile, or ASBM) into the shipping lanes of the southern Red Sea. The missile's seeker locked on to the Zografia, a 55,000 dwt geared bulker. It hit the vessel amidships, striking an empty cargo hold. The vessel reported minor damage but no injuries; according to Central Command, it remained seaworthy and continued on its voyage. 

The video, released on Friday, appears to be a security footage clip recorded by a camera on the bridge deck level. It clearly shows a missile arriving on a downward approach, inclined about 35-45 degrees to horizontal. Frame-by-frame analysis shows that the munition had substantial tail fins, but open-source analysts are divided over whether the video shows a cruise missile or a ballistic missile. The latter was reported by U.S. Central Command. Analysts are united on two points: it hit with precision, and it was almost certainly Iranian-made, in whole or in part. 

The missile strike on the Zografia was one of many recent Houthi attacks on shipping. On Wednesday, the day after the Zografia's ordeal, the American-owned bulker GENCO Picardy was hit and damaged by a Houthi drone. The attack did little damage, but Houthi drones returned again to harass the Picardy on Thursday as it departed the Gulf of Aden.