A protester holds a poster during a rally by Houthi supporters to show support to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Sanaa, Yemen April 26, 2024.

US Forces Neutralize Iranian-Backed Houthi Threats in Red Sea

Sunday, 06/02/2024

US forces on Saturday intercepted and destroyed one uncrewed aerial system (UAS) backed by Iran-affiliated Houthi rebels in the southern Red Sea, while two others crashed into the sea. 

US Central Command reported that the forces also neutralized two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles aimed at the USS Gravely. No injuries or damages were reported to US, coalition, or commercial vessels in the area.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) also reported an unrelated incident occurring 48 nautical miles southwest of Yemen's Hodeidah, where a vessel’s master observed an explosion at a distance from his ship.

The ship and its crew were confirmed safe and are proceeding to their next port of call, according to a UKMTO advisory note. British security firm Ambrey reported missile activity near the same location, indicating a continued threat in the region.

The Iran-backed Houthi militia, who control Yemen's capital and most populous areas, have attacked international shipping in the Red Sea since November, heeding a call by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to blockade Israeli trade, drawing retaliatory US and British strikes since February as the blockade expanded to international shipping. 

Claiming solidarity with Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza, they have since taken dozens of international seamen hostage and affected at least half of the world's shipping on the route through the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Gulf of Aden, forcing shipping companies to reroute cargo around southern Africa.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree claimed that the group conducted six operations targeting major maritime and naval assets, including a US aircraft carrier and a US destroyer, along with three other vessels in the strategic waters of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

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