An unidentified vessel was struck by a missile off the coast of southern Yemen, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) tweeted on Monday afternoon.
The British naval security company Embray said the vessel was owned by the United States and sailed under the flag of the Marshall Islands.
Mohammed Abdel Salam, the official spokesman for the Houthis, said that “the attacks on the ships heading to Israel will continue.”
According to a military source from Yemen who spoke to Qatar’s Al Jazeera network, the Houthis “attacked a ship in the Red Sea that was on its way to Israel. The attack was carried out after the ship did not respond to the warnings addressed to it.”
The incident occurred 95 nautical miles (almost 110 statute miles) southeast of Aden at 4:05 p.m. Yemen time. The vessel’s port side was hit from above by a missile.
“Vessels in the area are advised to transit with caution and report any suspicious activity to UKMTO,” the incident warning stated.
Britain’s Royal Navy originally established UKMTO (UK Maritime Trade Operations), a naval reserve–manned office in Dubai, to coordinate information with merchant traffic in the Arabian Sea to help counter Somali piracy.
The Iran-backed Houthis vowed in early December to target any Israel-bound ship in the Red Sea, regardless of its ownership. Since Oct. 17, they have attacked or harassed 27 ships in international waters, according to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The majority of vessels attacked have not had any apparent connection to Israel.
U.S. fighter aircraft downed a Houthi anti-ship cruise missile fired towards the USS Laboon destroyer, CENTCOM announced on Sunday night. The projectile was intercepted off the coast of the Houthi-controlled port city of Al-Hudaydah. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
The attack came two days after the American and British strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, to which the Iranian proxy vowed to respond.
This is a developing story