Houthi Militants Issue Fresh Threats to Ships in Red Sea and Eilat

The Iran-backed Houthis have recently threatened ships in the Red Sea and Israel. On December 6, the UK’s Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency received a report of an incident involving an Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) near the port of Hodeidah, Yemen. According to Al-Arabiya, this report led to warnings for ships transiting the area, and a British maritime security company is investigating the incident. This incident follows a series of attacks in Middle Eastern waters since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began on October 7.

In an unrelated event, sirens sounded in Israel’s southern city of Eilat at around 13:11 due to a missile threat. The IDF intercepted a surface-to-surface missile in the area of the Red Sea using the Arrow Aerial Defense System. There was no immediate threat to civilians.

This report comes after another incident near the Bab al-Mandeb straits on December 3, where the US Central Command responded to distress calls from commercial vessels operating in international waters.

The Houthis have made statements threatening shipping and claiming responsibility for attacks on ships they believe are linked to Israel. The Houthi Al-Masirah media highlighted its anti-ship missile capabilities on December 6, but neither Houthi media nor US Central Command confirmed the recent incidents at the time of this report.