The Iran-backed Houthi terrorists of Yemen said on Wednesday they fired several anti-ship missiles at a U.S. warship in the Red Sea.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said a single missile targeted the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely and was intercepted without injuries or damage to the ship.
On Jan. 30, at approximately 11:30 p.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi militants fired one anti-ship cruise missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward the Red Sea. The missile was shot down by USS Gravely (DDG 107). There were no injuries or damage reported. pic.twitter.com/Wf1OhwPhhW
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 31, 2024
Houthi Brigadier General Yahya Saree gave a televised speech on Wednesday from Sana’a, the Yemeni national capital violently seized by Houthi insurgents in 2014, in which he portrayed the strike on the U.S. destroyer as a massive attack involving numerous missiles, conducted on behalf of the Palestinians in Gaza.
Saree said all U.S. and British warships in the Red Sea have become “legitimate targets for Yemenis within the fundamental and inalienable right to defend their homeland and nation and in reaffirmation of their staunch support of Palestine.”
Saree said Houthi attacks on shipping would continue until Israel halts its war against the Hamas terrorists in Gaza and eases all restrictions on supplies for the Palestinian population.
Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said on Tuesday the U.S. military is equally determined to “protect international shipping and mariners that are transiting the Red Sea, as well as to degrade and disrupt Houthi capability to conduct these kinds of attacks.”
European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on Wednesday the EU may soon join the United States and United Kingdom in patrolling the Red Sea to defend civilian ships against Houthi attacks.
Borrell said European firms are pleading for more protection so they can use the much faster and less expensive Red Sea-Suez Canal route for shipping instead of sailing around Africa. He stressed that if the EU does get involved, it will only act to defend civilian ships against Houthi attacks rather than join in punitive U.S. and UK strikes against Houthi positions in Yemen.
The attack on USS Gravely was the second Houthi missile launch at a U.S. Navy ship in less than a week. On Friday, the insurgents fired a missile at the destroyer USS Carney in the Gulf of Aden. The Carney was also able to intercept the Houthi weapon without damage or injuries.
The Houthis claimed on Monday that they targeted USS Lewis B. Puller, an expeditionary mobile base ship designed to carry personnel and equipment for both combat and humanitarian missions. The Pentagon denied the Houthi claims and said the vessel did not come under attack.
USS Lewis B. Puller was the ship that conducted a boarding operation in the Arabian Sea in January, during which two Navy SEALs were killed.
Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher Chambers and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Ingram were reported missing at sea after deploying from USS Lewis B. Puller to board a ship carrying illegal Iranian weapons for the Houthis. Chambers and Ingram were the first U.S. military personnel killed in the Middle East since the Houthis began attacking Red Sea shipping.