On Monday, a container ship that is owned by the United States was struck by an anti-ship ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels from Yemen.
The U.S. Central Command released a statement this week announcing the attack. The M/V Gibraltar Eagle is the ship that was attacked, and luckily, there weren’t any injuries suffered as a result of the attack, nor did the ship sustain significant damage.
U.S. Central Command further said that the ship is a container ship that is owned and operated by a company in the U.S. but flies a flag from the Marshall Islands.
This attack is just another one in a long string of them being launched by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea in response to the ongoing war between Israel and another terrorist group, Hamas. The Houthi militant group is backed by Iran.
Just last week, President Joe Biden authorized some strikes against the Houthis in response to the threats they have posed to global trade in the Red Sea. The waterway is a major passage for ships that need to transport goods from Asia to Europe and vice versa.
Many companies have either stopped shipping goods altogether as a result of the attacks, or have diverted their travels around the southern tip of Africa. That route can add weeks to the journey, though, and significantly increase costs.
The attacks by the Houthis — and the response attacks from the U.S. — have sparked major concerns that the war between Israel and Hamas could expand to a much larger war in the Middle East.
Israel has already been fighting with other groups that are backed by Iran, and now the U.S. is getting involved as well.
On Monday, the U.S. Central Command said that U.S. military forces detected an anti-ship ballistic missile that was headed in the direction of the main commercial shipping lanes in the southern part of the Red Sea.
However, it further said that the missile “failed in flight and impacted on land in Yemen.”
Last week, the United States and some of its allies carried out a very coordinated attack against the Houthis. According to the Houthis, the attacks — which were led by America — killed at least five people and ended up wounded six others.
The Houthis responded by launching its largest string of attacks, including firing multiple missiles and rockets toward U.K. and U.S. forces that are stationed in the Red Sea.
One day later, the U.S. carried out a second round of strikes. These were targeted at a radar facility run by the Houthis in Yemen. America threatened that it would carry out additional military actions unless the militant group put an end to the attacks they are carrying out on commercial ships in the Red Sea.
Since late November, the Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea, claiming that are basically a protest against the offensive being carried out by Israel in Gaza.