The Iran-backed Houthi militia has again launched attacks on maritime traffic in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, including hitting a vessel with an unknown object, causing a fire, and ordering another vessel to redirect towards Yemen. The first incident occurred around 6:40 a.m. Israel time when a small white craft carrying 10 Yemeni authorities ordered a vessel near the port of Mokha to change course towards Yemen. Shortly after, a vessel was hit by an unknown object, sparking a fire southwest of the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeida. The impacted cargo ship, Al Jasrah, is operated by the German-based shipper Hapag Lloyd.
Following these attacks, a third unspecified incident was reported southwest of Mokha, prompting authorities to launch an investigation. It was later revealed that a ballistic missile launched from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen had struck a second Liberian-flagged vessel in the Bab El Mandab strait. The US Navy destroyer Mason was dispatched to assist the affected vessel.
On Thursday, the Houthis claimed to have attacked the Maersk Gibraltar with a drone strike, vowing to continue preventing ships from reaching Israeli ports in the Arab and Red Seas until essential supplies are delivered to the Gaza Strip. The US Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed that the missile fired at the Gibraltar fell short, posing a threat to international maritime security.
In response to these ongoing attacks, the US was reportedly preparing to announce a multinational task force to operate in the Red Sea, aimed at deterring and countering Houthi aggression.