Houthis Continue Attacking Greek Bulkers Accused of Calling in Israel

Red Sea escort
Greek officials cited a decline in the number and intensity of attacks in the past week (Aspides)

Published Jun 5, 2024 5:04 PM by The Maritime Executive


The Houthi spokesperson issued the latest list of claimed attacks saying that they were continuing to target ships from companies that call in Israeli ports. While making unsubstantiated claims that they had launched missiles and drones they did not claim any hits and none of the claims matched reports from the maritime security forces.

Two Greek bulkers both traveling north in the Red Sea were reportedly targeted. Spokesperson Yahya Saree said it was related to “companies violating the decision to ban entry to the ports,” of Israel. One ship he cited was the Roza (93,386 dwt), a Liberian-registered bulker built in 2010. Her last AIS signal shows the ship bound for the Suez Canal. The other ship was the Vantage Dream (29,084 dwt) also registered in Liberia. She is traveling from India and also showing that she is approaching the Suez Canal.

The third claim cited the Maersk Line Ltd. vessel Maersk Seletar (108,299 dwt). She operates under the U.S. flag and is transporting materials for the U.S. military showing a destination of Oman. She made the circuit around Africa with the Houthis saying she was targeted while transiting the Arabian Sea.

The only report of a specific incident was days old and came from the UK Maritime Trade Organizations. They reported today that a master “reported a significant explosion a short distance from the port side of the vessel.” On inspection, the master said no damage was found. 

Analysts are noting that the report cites a position further to the north in the Red Sea which seems to align with the Houthis claims of an increased range. The report lists the position of the vessel as 50 nautical miles southwest of Al Shuqaiq, Saudi Arabia. 

These claims appeared as Greece’s Minister of Maritime Affairs Christos Stylianides asserted to a reporter from Reuters that the EU Operation Aspides is seeing a decline in the attacks by the Houthi. He said they had seen “a notable reduction in the number and intensity of attacks,” over the past week citing the joint efforts between the forces patrolling in the region.

After the Houthi reported targeting the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the U.S. and UK forces staged new strikes. They said storage locations, command and control, and launch sites were all damaged. 

U.S. Central Command however continues to report frequent downing of missiles and drones coming from the Houthi. The June 4 report said two anti-ship ballistic missiles had been launched following U.S. efforts that destroyed an aerial drone on June 2. The month began with the U.S. reporting it destroyed one aerial system as well as two missiles fired toward the USS Gravely. Two other drones reportedly crashed into the Red Sea.