War on U.S.-UK Ships Escalates in Gulf of Aden

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-01-27 06:40 PM UTC


Yemen's Ansar Allah (Houthi) group hit a British ship Friday in the Gulf of Aden and attempted to strike a U.S. warship on the same day, marking a deepening conflict between the U.S.-UK coalition and the Iran-backed Yemeni group.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a broadcast statement that the naval forces carried out an offensive operation against a British oil ship, Marlin Luanda, in the Gulf of Aden, using a number of "suitable naval missiles".

He added, "The hit was direct, causing the ship to be on fire."

London-headquartered Trafigura, which operates Marlin Luanda, confirmed the Houthi attack on the ship. A Trafigura representative said in a statement, "Firefighting equipment on board is being deployed to suppress and control the fire caused in one cargo tank on the starboard side." Military ships in the region are on the way to assist, said the statement.

Before the destructive attack on the British oil ship, the Houthis fired a missile toward an American warship, USS Carney, in the Gulf of Aden. But the warship shot down the projectile, causing no damage or injury, according to the U.S. Central Command.

Five days ago, the Houthi group said its forces had launched a missile attack on the U.S. Ocean Jazz in the Gulf of Aden. But the U.S. military denied the Houthi claims.

The exchange of attacks between the Houthis and the U.S.-UK forces has kept magnifying over the last two weeks, which risks widening the conflict in the region.

Today, at 3:45 a.m., Sanaa time, the U.S. Central Command Forces conducted a strike against a Houthi anti-ship missile aimed at the Red Sea. The Central Command did not reveal details about the targeted site. However, the Houthi-run 26 September website said that two strikes hit the Ras Issa area. It added that American-British aggression aircraft carried the two strikes on Ras Issa in Al-Hudaydah.

Over the past few weeks, the Houthi group has activated new missile and drone launch centers. Sheba Intelligence revealed that the Red Sea coast and islands, particularly ports of Al-Hudaydah, Al-Salif, Ras Issa, Al-Luhayah, and Kamaran Island, remain the first launch centers from which ships were attacked.

Though the U.S. and U.K. have launched dozens of airstrikes on Houthi sites in multiple Yemeni provinces, the Houthi group vows to continue hitting Israeli-linked ships and the ships of countries supporting Israel.

The American and British airstrikes have been insufficient to stop the Houthi attacks on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Yesterday, military sources told Sheba Intelligence that the Houthis are expecting an attack by the American and British naval forces on the ports of Al-Salif and Al-Hudaydah and other Yemeni islands, such as  Kamaran Island, which is under the Houthi control.

The Houthis also fear that the attack by international forces will be accompanied by another attack by the UAE-backed forces stationed on the West Coast or forces in Shabwah, and Al-Dhale, according to the military sources.

Since the group began hitting ships in the shipping lanes in the Red Sea, it has been preparing for a long and complex war with the American-British coalition, employing various defensive and preventive procedures.

The group has continued transferring air defense systems, ballistic missiles, and drone launchers to the coastal areas, besides taking measures to ensure the protection of their military and security commanders in the capital, Sana'a.

Abdulmalek Al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthi group, said the Yemeni operations will not stop in support of Palestinians in Gaza. He stated in a speech on Thursday, "Our country will continue its operations until medicine and food reach all residents of Gaza and …until the Zionist crime stops."

He said the U.S.-UK airstrikes on Yemen will be counterproductive and will not affect his will and determination or the military capabilities of the group.