AMERICA has destroyed two Houthi anti-ship missiles that were ready to launch yet another attack in the Red Sea.
It came just a day after the US launched its fourth rounds of strikes against the Iran-backed rebels.
APGenco Picardy came under attack Wednesday from a bomb-carrying drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Gulf of Aden[/caption]
APThe photographs provided by the Indian navy show the aftermath of the strike[/caption]
A tweet from the US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced the Thursday strikes, which are “part of ongoing multi-national efforts to protect freedom of navigation and prevent attacks on maritime vessels in the Red Sea”.
A statement read: “U.S. Central Command forces conducted strikes on two Houthi anti-ship missiles that were aimed into the Southern Red Sea and were prepared to launch. U.S. forces identified the missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen at approximately 3:40 p.m. (Sanaa time) and determined they were an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region.
” U.S. forces subsequently struck and destroyed the missiles in self-defense.”
It comes after a shocking image revealed a charred hole on the side of the US-owned cargo ship after it suffered a drone attack by the Houthi rebels.
The merchant vessel Genco Picardy was hit by an unmanned aerial vehicle as it was heading east along the Gulf of Aden.
India’s navy, which assisted the cargo ship, released the images of the attack’s aftermath.
The photographs show the destroyed parts of the railings and a metal grille hanging loose.
The stern of the warship was charred after the fire broke out onboard yesterday.
The merchant vessel sent out a distress call after the drone attack around midnight local time.
Soon after, the the Indian Navy’s ship responded to the mayday and the fire was under control.
“INS Visakhapatnam, undertaking anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, acknowledged the distress call and intercepted the vessel at 0030 hrs on January 18, 2024 in order to provide assistance,” the Navy said in a statement.
Genco Picardy, with 22 crew members, reported no casualties and continued to theport of call.
The Iran-backed group claimed responsibility for the strike after leading a string of brazen attacks on ships since November.
The Yemeni Armed Forces confirmed on Wednesday that a response to the American and British attacks is inevitably coming, and that any new attack will not remain without response and punishment.
An official statement read: “The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces carried out a targeting operation against the American ship (Ginko Picardie) in the Gulf of Aden with a number of suitable naval missiles, and the hit was accurate and direct, thanks to God.
“The Yemeni armed forces will not hesitate toall sources of threat in the Arab and Red Bahrain within the legitimate right to defend dear Yemen and to continue supporting the oppressed Palestinian people.”
Following the latest attack, the US has launched a fourth round ofagainst the rebels in just under a week.
The US swiftly hit back with strikes targeting several sites that were prepared to launch further assaults, a US official confirmed to CBS News on Wednesday.
Washington said it will re-designate the group as “global terrorists”.
The new designation will require US financial institutions to freeze Houthi funds and its members will be banned from the US.
A statement from US Central command read: “US Central Command forces conducted strikes on 14 Iran-backed Houthi missiles that were loaded to be fired in Houthi controlled areas in Yemen.
“These missiles on launch rails presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region and could have been fired at any time, prompting US forces to exercise their inherent right and obligation to defend themselves.
“These strikes, along with other actions we have taken, will degrade the Houthi’s capabilities to continue their reckless attacks on international and commercial shipping in the Red Sea, the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden.”
On Tuesday, the US military pounded the Iran-backed rebels with another airstrike on a stash of anti-ship ballistic missiles in Yemen.
And earlier on Tuesday, a missile fired from Yemen hit a Greek-owned cargo ship in the Red Sea.
Tuesday’s attack comes after the Houthis hit a US-owned cargo ship with a three-rocket barrage on Monday.
It came just hours after a US warship downed a cruise missile fired by the Houthi rebels.
The Houthi attacks are a major blow to world trade — and threaten UK petrol prices as tensions explode in the Middle East and the Israel and Gaza conflict rages on.
About 12 per cent of global commercial shipping uses the route — and so far more than 2,000 vessels have been forced to divert thousands of miles.Leave a comment