Another Container Ship Attacked In Red Sea As Houthis Act With Impunity

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Dec 26, 2023 - 08:05 PM

Another day, another tanker attack in the Red Sea, and Yemen's Houthis are positively boasting about it as the Biden White House continues attempts to cobble together its much touted multi-national naval coalition, which is clearly taking some time getting off the ground.

"The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces carried out a targeting operation against the commercial ship, ‘MSC UNITED’ with appropriate naval missiles," according to a Houthi statement.

Illustrative file image, via EPA

The vessel was reportedly en route to Pakistan when it came under missile attack, however, there were no reported injuries to crew members, as damage is being assessed. The Houthis said the ship rejected three warning calls before it was fired upon.

Scant details have emerged, but Tuesday's incident happened in parallel with a fresh Houthi missile attack on Israel. The Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea was cited in the following

Sarea also said the group carried out drone attacks on the southern Israeli city of Eilat “and other areas in occupied Palestine”.

In a statement, the group said they “carried out a targeting operation against a commercial ship” and launched a number of “drones against military targets” in southern Israel.

Even as Washington has threatened increased intervention in waters off Yemen, these Houthis attacks have only increased.

The Yemeni rebel group has declared war on any vessel linked to Israel, or bound for Israeli ports. Tuesday's attack follows fresh weekend incidents as well, described in the WSJ as follows:

The U.S. Navy said late Saturday that two more vessels had been attacked that day by Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen, bringing the number of commercial ships attacked near a crucial passageway between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East to 15. The Pentagon said earlier in the day that a chemical tanker in the Indian Ocean was struck by a drone launched directly from Iran, a claim Tehran denied.

The shipping attacks are part of a broader regional confrontation between Iran’s allies and the U.S. and Israel, and are increasing. A declassified document from the Defense Department shows Houthi attacks on ships escalated during the first half of December to eight incidents, compared with just three during the last half of November.

Several allies have meanwhile refused to join the US-led naval coalition...

US officials have long alleged that Iranian intelligence is complicit in these attacks. Both Israel and the US have said Tehran uses a spy ship that patrols the Red Sea to assist with Houthi targeting. Through this weekend, there have been over a dozen confirmed attacks on commercial ships this month alone. The US has said more than 100 drones and rockets have been launched over the last two months in repeat incidents. 

U.S. Central Command reported that F/A-18 Super Hornets from the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group had a busy Tuesday. 

However, Iran has rejected these allegations but has still openly encouraged 'resistance' to what it calls the forces of "Zionism."