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Houthis claim responsibility for new missile attack on US ship


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Sanaa, Jan 19: Yemen’s Houthi militia on Friday claimed responsibility for launching a fresh missile strike on a US ship in the Gulf of Aden amid escalating tensions over the rebel group’s continued attacks in the Red Sea region.

“The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces (Houthi) carried out an attack targeting US ship (Chem Ranger) in the Gulf of Aden with several appropriate naval missiles, and the hit was accurate,” Xinhua news agency quoted Yahya Sarea, a Houthi military spokesman, as saying n a statement broadcast by the group’s al-Masirah TV.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces (Houthi) confirm that a retaliation to the American and British attacks is inevitable and that any new aggression will not go unpunished,” the spokesman said.

The attacks “will continue until a ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza Strip is imposed, and the siege is lifted”, Sarea said, adding that their escalation comes in support of the Palestinians.

Confirming the attack, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) on Friday said that at about 9 p.m. on Thursday night, “Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at M/V Chem Ranger, a Marshall Island-flagged, US-owned, Greek-operated tanker ship”.

“The crew observed the missiles impact the water near the ship. There were no reported injuries or damage to the ship. The ship has continued underway,” the CENTCOM said in a post on X.

According to the Central Command, this was the third Houthi attack on a commercial shipping vessel in three days

Earlier on Thursday, US President Joe Biden conceded that US strikes against the Houthis were not deterring the group’s attacks in the Red Sea.

He also said that his administration returned the Houthi armed group to the “terrorist” list, and the decision will take effect next month if the Houthis don’t stop threatening the shipping lines.

Houthis have denounced the re-designation and said it was for “political purposes”.

Meanwhile, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said the US has “been able to degrade and severely disrupt and destroy a significant number” of Houthi capabilities.

“We never said that the Houthis would immediately stop,” CNN quoted Singh as saying.

“That is something that they will have to make that decision and that calculation to do.”

Thursday night’s attack came after the US and UK bombed Houthi sites in northern Yemen at dawn.

The strikes hit Houthi targets in five provinces, including Hodeidah, the main port on the Red Sea coast controlled by the militia group.

The attack followed the Houthis claim of a missile strike on a US ship in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday night.

The Houthis have escalated their attacks in the Red Sea since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7, 2023, demanding an end to Israeli attacks and siege on Gaza.

The Houthis have controlled much of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa and the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, since ousting the internationally recognised Yemeni government in 2014.



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