Huthi missile attack severely injures sailor on cargo ship — US military

Agence France-Presse
Huthi missile attack severely injures sailor on cargo ship � US military
In this photo released by the US military's Central Command on February 3, 2024, US Central Command forces, alongside UK Armed Forces and with the support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand conducted strikes against 36 Houthi targets at 13 locations in Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist-controlled areas of Yemen. These multilateral coalition strikes focused on targets in Houthi-controlled Yemen used to attack international merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region.
Photo by US Central Command (CENTCOM) / AFP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Two cruise missiles launched by Yemen's Huthi rebels struck a bulk cargo carrier in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, severely injuring a sailor who was evacuated by American forces, the US military said.

The Huthis have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November 2023 in attacks they say are in solidarity with Palestinians during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Although this has caused major disruption to international shipping, casualties have been rare.

The M/V Verbena -- a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated ship -- "reported damage and subsequent fires on board. The crew continues to fight the fire. One civilian mariner was severely injured during the attack," the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement.

"Aircraft from USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) medically evacuated the injured mariner to a partner force ship nearby for medical attention," CENTCOM said.

"This continued reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Huthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden."

The Huthis on Thursday said they had carried out attacks on three ships within the past 24 hours, including the Verbena, "in retaliation to the crimes committed against our people in the Gaza Strip, and in response to the American-British aggression against our country".

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), meanwhile, reported an explosion close to a merchant vessel in the Red Sea about 80 nautical miles northwest of Yemen's rebel-held Hodeida port, with no damage or casualties.

CENTCOM later said that over the previous 24 hours it had destroyed an air defence sensor, two patrol boats, and nautical and aerial drones belonging to the Huthis.

The Huthis, who are at war with a Saudi-led coalition after ousting the government from Sanaa in 2014, have launched scores of drone and missile attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November.

The first reported fatalities from the attacks on ships occurred in the Gulf of Aden in March.

On Wednesday, the Huthis struck the Tutor, a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier, southwest of Hodeida. They claimed to have used seaborne and aerial drones as well as ballistic missiles.

CENTCOM said at the time that the Tutor had been hit by a Huthi "unmanned surface vessel" that "caused severe flooding and damage to the engine room".

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