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29 Jan, 2024 09:51

Houthis claim missile attack on US warship

The USS Lewis B. Puller was targeted in the Gulf of Aden, the Yemeni armed group has said
Houthis claim missile attack on US warship

Houthi militants fired a missile at a US warship in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday, a spokesman for the Yemen-based group has claimed. He described the incident as the latest response to American “aggression” in the region.

The attack, targeting the USS Lewis B. Puller expeditionary mobile base vessel, took place on Sunday evening, Yahya Saree said in a Telegram post in the aftermath of the alleged incident. The spokesman did not specify if the missile had hit the vessel.

The warship in question was providing logistical support to US forces participating in “the aggression” against Yemen, and was targeted as part of Houthi measures to protect the country, Saree stated.

The militant group will continue to strike commercial ships in the region until Israel ends its attacks on Gaza and the blockade of the Palestinian enclave is lifted, the spokesman added.

The US military has yet to officially comment on the alleged attack. However, an unnamed American defense official told the AP there have been no reports of the USS Lewis B. Puller being targeted.

Since mid-October, the Houthis have launched multiple drones and missiles targeting Israeli-bound vessels off the coast of Yemen, disrupting shipping along key routes in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The US and the UK subsequently launched airstrikes against the group to reduce its ability to strike ships. However, they thus far appear to have been unable to prevent Houthis attacks.

On Wednesday, Saree claimed that “a number of our ballistic missiles have reached their targets” amid clashes between Houthi forces and US warships protecting commercial vessels.

The US Central Command said on Saturday that it had intercepted an anti-ship missile fired by the group that posed an “imminent threat” to ships navigating the area.

On Sunday, the UN said that freight through the Suez Canal had plummeted by 45% in the past two months amid Houthi attacks and retaliatory airstrikes by the US and UK.

“We are very concerned,” Jan Hoffmann, chief of trade logistics at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), told reporters. “We are seeing delays, higher costs, higher greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.