US Shoots Down Houthi Anti-Ship Missile in Latest Red Sea Attack

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Gravely is docked at its home port Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Va. on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. U.S. officials said the ship shot down an anti-ship cruise missile fired from Yemen by the Iran-backed Houthis.

Yemen’s Houthi militants said Wednesday they fired several missiles at a U.S. warship in the Red Sea, and that they planned to continue targeting U.S. and British vessels.

The statement came hours after the U.S. military’s Central Command said the USS Gravely shot down an anti-ship cruise missile fired from Yemen by the Iran-backed Houthis.

CENTCOM said in its statement there were no injuries or damage from the attack.

The Houthis have carried out more than 30 missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea since mid-November, causing massive disruptions to commercial shipping in the key waterway.

Many shipping companies have altered their operations in response, sending ships on the much farther and more expensive route of going around Africa instead of using the link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

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Houthi Ship Attacks Disrupting Global Supply Chain

The United States and Britain have carried out strikes targeting Houthi missile and military sites in Yemen, while also working to disrupt the drones and missiles fired by the Houthis.

Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Tuesday that the U.S. has acted “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.”

The European Union is considering launching its own navy mission to protect the Red Sea.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters Wednesday he hopes the initiative will launch in the coming weeks and that it will be focused on blocking Houthi attacks and not on taking any direct action against the Houthis.

Borrell said many European firms have asked for action due to the high costs of rerouting ships around Africa.

Some material for this report came from Agence France-Presse and Reuters.