Houthis Continue Attacks, Including Five Missiles at One Ship

naval escort
HNLMS Karel Doorman protecting merchant ships (EUNAVFOR Aspides)

Published Jun 28, 2024 4:44 PM by The Maritime Executive


The Houthis are asserting a broad array of attacks conducted on a range of ships in both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, including a barrage at one vessel and targeting a Maersk vessel. Spokesperson Yahya Saree asserted all the attacks were for support of Israel or calling in Israeli ports while saying that Maersk, is “one of the most supportive companies” for Israel.

Most of the attacks were uncorroborated by the U.S. or UK, which monitor the activities as part of their defense operations. 

The UK Maritime Trade Organizations however did receive one report from an unnamed vessel in the Red Sea. The master reported that five missiles landed near the vessel while they were in a position 150 nautical miles northwest of Hodeidah, Yemen. Despite the missiles landing in close proximity to the vessel, the report said there was no damage or injuries and the ship was proceeding.

The Houthis claimed attacks on two vessels in the Red Sea in their latest announcement. One the Delonix, a 20,600 dwt product carrier registered in Liberia they called an “American ship.” The ship is managed by Merman Maritime of Greece and bound from the Suez Canal to China. The other vessel in the Red Sea was identified as a bulk carrier Ioannes, which the Houthis said was targeted “by a number of uncrewed surface boats.”

The other two ships that were identified today were both in the Mediterranean near the northern entrance to the Suez Canal. The Johannes Maersk is a smaller, 3,000 TEU container ship registered in Denmark. The other vessel is the Waler (7,279 dwt), a Turkish-owned and managed product tanker. The vessel registered in Panama shows it is traveling from Turkey to the Suez, but the Houthis contended it was “on its way to the port of Haifa.”

Although they have now asserted multiple attacks on vessels in the Mediterranean, none have been confirmed. They claimed today to have fired cruise missiles at the two vessels in the Mediterranean. 

During today’s rally, the leader of the Houthis reiterated the threat against shipping and specifically singled out the announcement that the U.S. would be sending a replacement aircraft carrier (USS Theodore Roosevelt) to the region. He said they were not afraid and the carrier would become an immediate target when it entered the zone.

Today’s reported barrage came after several other reports of possible ships being targeted this week but overall less reports from the U.S. and UK. In the past 48 hours, CENTCOM said it destroyed one aerial drone and took out another radar site as it continues to attempt to diminish the capabilities of the Houthis. Late on Friday, CENTCOM added that U.S. forces had destroyed seven aerial drones and one ground control station vehicle. EUNAVFOR Aspides also highlighted that the Dutch HNLMS Karel Doorman and Italian Virginio Fasan were both actively patrolling and protecting merchant ships in the area.

At the same time, there are unconfirmed media reports that while Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister Khaled bin Salman was meeting with Chinese officials this week he asked for their support with the Houthis. Reported suggested the Saudis might be seeking Chinese help to halt the attacks on ships heading to and departing from Saudi ports.