Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched at least one missile into the busy waters of Red Sea over the weekend, according to the U.S. Navy, thus increasing the risk of their fire striking one of the many commercial vessels using a waterway crucial to global shipping.
The missile fire took place March 5 in the Red Sea, the Navy said, with Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a spokesman for the Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet noting that:
Although maritime traffic was not impacted in this instance, these actions are destabilizing and present a danger to all vessels transiting a critical international waterway
According to ABC News spokesmen for the Iranian-backed Houthis did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Since seizing Yemen’s capital in September 2014, the Houthis have launched missiles, deployed bomb-laden drone boats and released mines into the Red Sea.
Houthi missile fire in the Red Sea has come near an American warship in October 2016, when the U.S. Navy said the USS Mason came under fire from two missiles launched out of Yemen. The missiles did not reach the warship, but the U.S. retaliated with Tomahawk cruise missile strikes on three coastal radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory on Yemen’s Red Sea coast.
In addition, during April 2021, an Iranian cargo ship that is said to serve as a floating base for Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces came under attack in the Red Sea.
Finally, during January 2022, the Houthis seized the Emirati-flagged ship Rwabee in the Red Sea off Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition asserted the ship carried medical equipment from a dismantled Saudi field hospital. For their side, the Houthis released video showing military-style inflatable rafts, trucks and other vehicles on the vessel, as well as rifles.
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