What to Know:
The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) has confirmed that the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Gravely intercepted two Houthi missiles during an attack against the American container vessel M/V Maersk Detroit in the Gulf of Aden.
CENTCOM reported that “On Jan. 24 at approximately 2 p.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists fired three anti-ship ballistic missiles from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward the U.S.-flagged, owned, and operated container ship M/V Maersk Detroit, transiting the Gulf of Aden.”
— United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) (@UK_MTO) January 24, 2024
“One missile impacted in the sea. The two other missiles were successfully engaged and shot down by the USS Gravely (DDG 107). There were no reported injuries or damage to the ship,” it added.
The Houthis have yet to release a statement on the incident, but will likely claim responsibility soon.
Why it Matters:
Since November 19, the Houthis have carried out dozens of attacks and attack attempts against commercial shipping vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. This latest attack marks the fourth against an American-owned vessel since the United States began strikes against the Houthis in Yemen on January 11.
While the Houthis have maintained that they are only targeting vessels linked or heading to Israel in support of Gaza, these latest strikes targeting American vessels shows a significant shift in tactics aimed at directly confronting the United States.
Tit-for-tat strikes between the Houthis and the United States-led coalition will continue, as the Houthis have signaled that attacks will stop when Israeli forces pull out of Gaza.