USNI News Timeline: Conflict in the Red Sea

February 5, 2024 6:33 PM - Updated: April 10, 2024 12:05 PM
Sailors stand watch in U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s (NAVCENT) maritime operations center in Manama, Bahrain, Jan. 29, 2024. US Navy Photo

Following the Oct. 7, 2024 attacks by Hamas in southern Israel, Houthi forces in Yemen have targeted merchant shipping in both the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

Houthi leadership has said the group is attacking any ship that stops at an Israeli port or has ties to the country. Following coordinated strikes by the U.S. and the United Kingdom, Houthi leadership added American and British ships to its potential targets.

The Pentagon has said the Houthis are targeting ships from a variety of nations and not just those with connections to Israel. U.S. Military leaders have said the conflict has not spread throughout the Middle East, despite Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea stemming back to Oct. 19, and attacks on U.S. coalition forces in Iraq and Syria. One of the most recent attacks killed three U.S. Army Reserve soldiers.

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder previously told reporters the strikes against Houthi targets are meant to downgrade Houthi capabilities, not entirely eliminate them.

“Certainly everyone would like to see the Houthis stop these attacks and we will continue to call on them to stop immediately,” Ryder said. “But if they don’t, we will continue to take appropriate actions to not only defend international shipping and mariners transiting the Red Sea, but also continuing to degrade and disrupt their capabilities.”

Below is a complete timeline of actions in the Red Sea since Oct. 19, when the Houthis first launched drones and missiles. This timeline will be updated.

2024

Dust blowing over the Red Sea. NASA Photo

April 9

USS Mason (DDG-87), along with other unidentified Central Command forces, shoot down a Houthi-launched anti-ship ballistic over the Gulf of Aden. The missile likely targets M/V Maersk Yorktown, a U.S.-owned and operated ship. USS Laboon (DDG-58) and Mason were escorting the ship at the time.

April 8

Around 8 a.m., local time, the Houthis launch an anti-ship ballistic missile toward the Gulf of Aden. At the time, an unidentified coalition ship was escorting M/V Hope Island, a commercial ship sailing under a Marshall Islands flag and is owned by the United Kingdom, while operated by an Italian company. It is unclear where the drone lands.

From 12:15-2:40 p.m., unidentified Central Command forces destroy a Houthi air defense system that had two missiles ready to launch in Yemen, as well as shoot down one Houthi-launched drone.

April 6

Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., unidentified Central Command forces destroy one Houthi mobile surface-to-air missile system in Yemen, while other CENTCOM forces shoot down a drone over the Red Sea.

Around 6 p.m., a coalition vessel, not identified by CENTCOM, shoots down an anti-ship missile.

April 4

Central Command forces, not identified in the release, destroy an anti-ship missile in Yemen around 2:20 p.m. local time.

April 3

USS Gravely and other unidentified Central Command forces shoot down an anti-ship ballistic missile and two unmanned aerial systems launched by the Houthis toward the U.S. warship between 3:49-10 a.m. local time. The ship does not report any injuries or damage.

During the same timeframe, unidentified CENTCOM forces destroy a mobile surface-to-air missile system in Yemen.

April 1

Central Command forces, unidentified in the release, destroy a Houthi unmanned surface vessel around 9 a.m. local time.

March 30

Unidentified Central Command forces destroy two unmanned aerial systems in Yemen at 8:30 a.m. local time. Forces destroy one of the UAS over the Red Sea and the other on the ground.

March 28

U.S. Central Command shoots down four Houthi unmanned aerial systems over the Red Sea. The unmanned aerial systems were launched at a coalition vessel and U.S. warship. The release does not say which ships were targeted or which forces were involved.

March 27

Between 2-2:20 a.m. U.S. Central Command shoot down four long-range unmanned aerial systems launched by the Houthis that were aimed at a U.S. warship. The release does not say which forces were involved.

March 23

Between 2:50-4:30 a.m., the Houthis launch five anti-ship ballistics missiles into the Red Sea toward M/V Huang Pu, a Panamanian-flagged, Chinese-owned and -operated oil tanker.

Huang Pu puts out a distress call but does not request assistance. A fire breaks out aboard the ship but the crew extinguishes it. The ship continues on its journey despite suffering minimal damage.

Approximately two hours later, USS Carney (DDG-64) and other unnamed U.S. forces track six Houthi drones over the Red Sea. Five of the drones crash into the Red Sea, while the sixth flies into Yemen.

March 22

Unidentified Central Command forces destroy four drones in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. The forces also strike three Houthi underground storage facilities in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

The Houthis also fire four anti-ship ballistic missiles toward the Red Sea. No ships in the water report injuries or damage.

Central Command forces, not identified in the release, strike three Houthi underground storage facilities.

March 21

Between 8:50-11:40 a.m. local time, coalition aircraft destroy an unmanned surface vessel launched by the Houthis. Coalition forces also shoot down Houthi-launched anti-ship ballistic missiles. The Central Command release does not identify the forces involved.

March 20

Unidentified coalition aircraft shoot down one drone, while Central Command forces, also not identified, destroy an unmanned surface vessel. There is no damage to U.S. or coalition ships.

March 18

Between 1-7:40 p.m. local time, U.S. Central Command forces, not identified in the release, destroy seven anti-sip missiles, three unmanned aerial vehicles and three Houthi weapons storage containers in Yemen.

March 16

Between 7:50-8:15 a.m., the Houthis launch two drones toward the Red Sea. Unidentified Central Command forces shoot down one of the drones while the other likely crashes into the Red Sea.

Between 9-10:30 p.m., unidentified CENTCOM forces destroy five unmanned surface vessels and one drone in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

March 15

The Houthis fire three anti-ship ballistic missiles toward the Red Sea between 8:30-10:50 p.m.. The missiles do not hit any ships.

March 14

Between 6:50 a.m. March 14 and 12:40 a.m. March 15, local time, the Houthis fire two anti-ship ballistic missiles toward the Gulf of Aden and two toward the Red Sea. The missiles do not hit any U.S. or coalition ships.

Unidentified Central Command forces destroy nine anti-ship missiles and two drones in Houthi-controlled territories of Yemen.

March 13

The Houthis fire one anti-ship ballistic missile, but it does not hit any ships. Central Command forces, not identified in the release, engage and destroy four drones and one surface-to-air missile. It is unclear from CENTCOM’s release if the weapons were shot down or destroyed in a strike.

March 12

The Houthis fire one close-range ballistic missile toward USS Laboon (DDG-58) between 2-4:30 a.m. although the missile does not hit the warship. In the same time period, Central Command forces shoot down two drones launched by the Houthis, but the release does not identify what forces were involved.

March 11

Between 8:50 a.m. through 12:50 p.m. local time, the Houthis fire two anti-ship ballistic missiles toward M/V Pinocchio, a Singaporean-owned, Liberian-flagged ship. Houthi spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Sare’e says on social media site X the Houthis targeted the ship because it was American.

Reuters reports the ship is owned by OM-MAR 5 INC, a Singaporean company.

Central Command forces strike an unmanned underwater vessel and 18 anti-ship missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen between 2:50-11:30 p.m. local time. The CENTCOM release does not identify what forces are involved.

March 9

Between 4-8:20 a.m. local time, U.S. Navy aircraft and ships, with the assistance of coalition ships and aircraft, shoot down at least 28 unmanned aerial vehicles over the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The Central Command release does not identify which Navy ships were involved.

March 7

Between 3:35-4:55 p.m. local time, Central Command forces strike four Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles and one unmanned aerial vehicle. CENTCOM forces also shoot down three drones launched by the Houthis toward the Gulf of Aden. Central Command does not identify the forces in its release.

March 6

Three merchant sailors die after a Houthi-launched anti-ship ballistic missile hits M/V True Confidence, a Liberian-owned bulk carrier sailing under a Barbados flag, USNI News reports.

The anti-ship ballistic missile causes a fire to break out on the ship, leaving four other sailors injured. The crew abandons the ship. This is the first time there have been fatalities from a Houthi-launched drone or missile.

Unidentified Central Command forces strike two unmanned aerial vehicles in Yemen at 7:14 p.m. local time.

March 5

Between 3 and 5 p.m. local time, U.S. Central Command forces shoot down one anti-ship ballistic missile and three unmanned aerial systems that the Houthis launch toward USS Carney (DDG-64) in the Red Sea. It’s unclear whether Carney shoots down the missile and drones. Carney does not have any damage.

Between 8:45 and 9:40 p.m., Central Command forces destroy thee anti-ship missiles and three unmanned surface vessels.

March 4

Around 2:15 a.m. local time, the Houthis fire an anti-ship ballistic missile into the southern Red Sea. It does not hit any ships.

Between 3:50 and 4:15 p.m., the Houthis fire two more anti-ship ballistic missiles, this time targeting M/V MSC Sky II in the Gulf of Aden. According to MSC’s website, MSC Sky II departed from Singapore on Feb. 22 and is heading to Djibouti.

MSC is a Swiss company and the cargo ship sails under a Liberian flag. One of the missiles hits MSC Sky II, causing a small fire, Reuters reports.

The ship’s crew extinguishes the fire and continues sailing.

At 8 p.m., unidentified CENTCOM forces strike two anti-ship cruise missiles that were preparing to launch toward the Red Sea, according to the news release.

March 2

M/V Rubymar, a British-owned cargo ship, sinks into the Red Sea after a Houthi missile strikes the vessel on Feb. 18. It’s unclear whether the ship’s cargo of fertilizer has any lasting effects on the body of water.

Rubymar is the first ship to sink due to the ongoing Houthi attacks.

March 1

Around 12:40 p.m. local time, Central Command forces strike one Houthi surface-to-air missile prepare to launch toward the Red Sea. The news release does not identify the forces involved.

At 10:46 p.m., the Houthis launch an anti-ship ballistic missile into the Red Sea. It does not strike any ships.

Feb. 29

Central Command forces strike six anti-ship cruise missiles that were ready to launch toward the Red Sea, according to a news release. CENTCOM does not identify the forces involved.

CENTCOM forces also shoot down a drone over the southern Red Sea.

Feb. 27

U.S. aircraft and an unidentified coalition warship shoot down five Houthi drones over the Red Sea between 9:50 and 10:55 p.m. local time.

Feb. 26

Unidentified Central Command forces destroy three unmanned surface vessels, two anti-ship cruise missiles and one drone. The drone is over the Red Sea when CENTCOM forces shoot it down.

Feb. 24

A F/A-18E Super Hornet prepared to launch from the flight deck of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on Feb. 24, 2024. US Navy Photo

USS Mason (DDG-87) shoots down one anti-ship ballistic missile over the Gulf of Aden. Central Command says in a release that the missile was likely targeting U.S.-flagged M/V Torm Thor. Danish company Torm lists Torm Thor as part of its fleet, but Central Command says the ship is both owned and operated by the U.S.

Reuters reports that the ship is part of the U.S. Tanker Security Program.

There are no injuries or damage to Mason nor Torm Thor.

Around 9 p.m. local time, unidentified Central Command forces shoot down two drones over the southern Red Sea. A third drone crashes from an in-flight failure.

At 11:45 p.m., the Houthis launch another anti-ship ballistic missile, likely at Torm Thor.

The U.S. and United Kingdom conduct the third set of joint strikes, hitting 18 Houthi targets around 11:50 p.m., USNI News reports. The strikes are in retaliation for the Houthi attacks on British and American ships.

While CENTCOM does not list what U.S. assets were involved in the strikes, it puts out a video of F/A-18 Super Hornets launching from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69).

Feb. 23

Central Command forces, not identified in the release, shoot down three Houthi one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicles, which were flying near commercial ships in the Red Sea, between 3:30 and 5 a.m.

Later, between 12:30 and 7:15 p.m., Central Command forces destroy seven Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles. The Central Command release does not identify the forces.

Feb. 22

Between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m., U.S. aircraft and an unidentified coalition warship shoot down six one-way attack drones in the Red Sea. Central Command says the drones were likely targeting U.S. and coalition warships.

Three hours later, the Houthis fire two anti-ship ballistic missiles, which hit M/V Islander, a United Kingdom-owned cargo carrier sailing under a Palau flag. The strike causes one minor injury among the ship’s crew and minor damage, according to the Central Command release. The ship continues its journey.

Around 5 p.m., unidentified Central Command forces strike four Houthi unmanned aerial vehicles and two anti-ship cruise missiles, according to a CENTCOM news release.

Feb. 21

Between midnight and 6:45 p.m., unidentified Central Command forces strike seven Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missile. CENTCOM forces also shoot down one unmanned aircraft system.

The U.S. State Department releases a statement condemning the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Feb. 20

Houthi spokesperson Yahya Sare’e posts on social media site X that the Houthis launched an operation against MSC Silver with naval missiles. MSC lists MSC Silver II on its site, with the ship leaving Berbera, Somaliland, on Feb. 20.

MSC is a Swiss company, but it often works with ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., an Israeli shipping service, and MSC ships stop at Israeli ports, Reuters reports. The Houthis claim Silver II is an Israeli ship.

Feb. 19

Between 12:30-1:50 p.m., the Houthis fire two anti-ship ballistic missiles toward M/V Sea Champion, a grain carrier owned by New York-based MKM Chartering, USNI News reports. Sea Champion sails under a Greek flag. The ship receives minor damage and is able to continue sailing to deliver grain to Aden, Yemen.

At 7:20 p.m., the Houthis launch a drone at U.S.-owned M/V Navis Fortuna, which sails under a Marshall Islands flag. The drone causes minor damage, and the ship is able to continue toward Italy.

The Houthis also launch an anti-ship ballistic missile around 6:40 p.m., but it does not hit any ships.

Central Command forces, which are not identified in the command’s release, destroy a surface-to-air missile launcher.

Feb. 18

Houthis launch two anti-ship ballistic missiles at MV Rubymar, a British-owned bulk carrier sailing under a Belize flag. One of the missiles hits Rubymar, damaging the ship. Another merchant ship responding to Rubymar‘s call for assistance takes the crew to a nearby port, USNI News reports.

Rubymar, which carries fertlizer, takes on water from the damage.

Feb. 17

Between 3-8 p.m., unidentified Central Command forces strike three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned underwater vessel and one unmanned surface vessel, according to a CentCom release. The strike is the first time Central Command has seen a Houthi UUV.

Feb. 16

The Houthis fire four anti-ship ballistic missiles into the Red Sea, with at least three aiming for M/T Pollux, a Denmark-owned commercial vessel sailing under a Panama flag, according to Central Command. The ship is not damaged.

In a statement, Houthi spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Sare’e confirms that the Houthis targeted the ship, saying that it was a British ship, Reuters reports.

Unidentified Central Command forces strike a mobile anti-ship cruise missile and a unmanned surface vessel in two strikes, according to the Central Command release.

Feb. 15

Between 3:10-8 p.m., Central Command forces strike three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles prepared to launch. The Central Command release does not identify what forces are involved.

Around 4:20 p.m., the Houthis launch an anti-ship ballistic missile toward MV Lycavitos, a United Kingdom-owned and operated bulk carrier sailing under a Barbados flag. Helikon Shipping lists Lycavitos as part of its fleet on its website.

Feb. 14

Unidentified Central Command forces strike seven anti-ship cruise missiles, three unmannned aerial vehicles and one explosive unmanned surface vessel. The forces made four strikes between 1-7:30 p.m. local time to take out the munitions, according to a Central Command release.

Feb. 13

Central Command forces – not identified in the release – strike a anti-ship cruise missile in Yemen around 2:35 p.m. local time.

About seven hours later, the Houthis launch an anti-ship ballistic missile that Navy ships track but determine does not pose a threat.

Feb. 12

The Houthis fire two missiles at MV Star Iris, a cargo ship sailing under the Marshall Islands flag and owned by Greek company Star Bulk. The ship carries corn from Brazil, according to a Central Command release.

The release does not say if both missiles hit the ship, but the ship sustains minor damage but continues its journey. The ship is sailing toward Bandar Iman Khomeini, Iran, according to CentCom.

The attack comes a day after Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam takes to social media site X to praise Iran’s leadership.

“Thanks to exceptional leadership, Iran has continued the revolution’s progress and effective presence, making Palestine its primary cause by supporting the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements in the face of… The Israeli occupation, and that is the most eloquent meaning of Islamic and humanitarian commitment,” Abdulsalam says in his post.

Feb. 10

Between 4 to 5 p.m. local time, unidentified U.S. Central Command forces strike two unmanned surface vessels and three anti-ship cruise missiles located north of Al Hudaydah, Yemen, according to a Central Command release.

Feb. 9

U.S. Central Command forces strike two unmanned surface vessels, four anti-ship cruise missiles and one land attack cruise missile over the course of the day, according to a Central Command release.

Feb. 8

Over the course of the day, Central Command forces strike four Houthi unmanned surface vessels and seven anti-ship cruise missiles. Central Command does not identify what forces conduct the strikes in its news release.

Feb. 7

Central Command forces strike two Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles around 9 p.m. local time. About two and a half hours later, Central Command forces strike a Houthi land attack cruise missile. In both cases, Central Command says the missiles were prepared to launch.

Feb. 6

Houthis fire six anti-ship ballistic missiles, likely targeting Greek-owned bulk carrier Star Nasia, sailing under a Marshall Islands flag, and MV Morning Tide, a British-owned Barbados-flag cargo ship. One of the missiles hits Star Nasia, causing minimal damage and no crew injuries. USS Laboon (DDG-58) shoots down another missile. The other four land in the water.

Feb. 5

U.S. Central Command strikes two Houthi explosive uncrewed surface vehicles around 3:30 p.m. local time, according to a news release from the combatant command.

Feb. 4

U.S. Central Command strikes a Houthi anti-ship cruise missile ready to launch, according to a news release from the combatant command.

Feb. 3

At around 7:20 p.m. local time, U.S. Central Command forces strike six Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles that the U.S. says are prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea.

At around 11 p.m. local time, USS Carney (DDG-64) and USS Gravely (DDG-107), along with F/A18-E/F Super Hornets attached to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, strike 13 locations in Yemen as part of a multi-national effort late Saturday night local time, USNI News reports.

The two destroyers use an unspecified amount of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, while the fighter jets use Joint Direct Attack Munition.

The United Kingdom joins with the U.S. to conduct the strikes with the support of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Feb. 2

U.S. Central Command forces conduct airstrikes on 85 targets in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Forces and other Iranian-backed militia groups at around 4 p.m. local time. The U.S. sends B-1 and B-2 bombers from the continental U.S., as well as fighter aircraft from Central Command, to conduct the strikes.

The strikes, which use more than 125 precise munitions, target command and control centers, storage facilities, munition and intelligence centers, according to the combatant command. The attacks come after the killing of three U.S. Army Reserve soldiers in an attack in Jordan.

Earlier in the day, USS Carney (DDG-64) shoots down one unmanned aerial vehicle over the Gulf of Aden.

Shortly after the U.S. strikes in Iraq and Syria, Central Command forces strike four Houthi drones that were prepared to launch. About five hours later, USS Laboon (DDG-58) and F/A-18s from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group shoot down seven drones over the Red Sea.

Feb. 1

At approximately 1:30 a.m. local time, U.S. Central Command forces strike one Houthi unmanned aerial vehicle ground control station and 10 Houthi drones. Central Command does not identify the forces involved in its release.

Central Command forces shoot down one unmanned aerial vehicle over the Gulf of Aden at approximately 5 a.m. local time. Central Command does not identify which forces conduct the strike.

About five and a half hours later, U.S. forces strike a Houthi uncrewed surface vehicle, the first time that Central Command reports the Yemeni-based group deploying a USV. Central Command says in a release that its forces strike the USV in self-defense because it was heading toward international shipping lanes.

Houthis launch two anti-ship ballistic missiles at 12:45 p.m. local time, likely heading toward M/V Koi, a Bermuda-owned cargo ship sailing under a Liberian flag. The two missiles land in the sea.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin tells reporters that the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea are an international issue, not a U.S. one.

“The Houthis continue to do some things that are very irresponsible and illegal. And so our goal is to make sure that we take away, we continue to take away, capability from the Houthis to do what they’ve been doing,” Austin says in his first remarks to the press since his prostate cancer diagnosis.

Jan. 31

U.S. forces preemptively strike a Houthi surface-to-air missile launcher after deeming it a threat to American aircraft.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. local time, Houthis fire one anti-ship ballistic missile toward the Gulf of Aden, which USS Carney (DDG-64) shoots down. Carney shoots down three Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles about 40 minutes later.

Jan. 30

Sailors stand watch in U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s (NAVCENT) maritime operations center in Manama, Bahrain, Jan. 29. US Navy Photo

USS Gravely (DDG-107) downs a Houthi anti-ship missile fired toward international shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Jan. 28

United Kingdom Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond (D 34) engages a one-way attack drone headed toward the ship in self-defense. Using Sea Viper missiles, the Type 45-class destroyer successfully destroys the drone.

USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. crew boards a vessel, originating from Iran, that carries weapons bound for the Houthis, U.S. Central Command announces in a press release on Feb. 15.

Jan. 27

U.S. forces preemptively strike a Houthi anti-ship missile ready to launch into the Red Sea.

Jan. 26

Houthis strike Marshall Islands-flagged MV Marlin Luanda with an anti-ship ballistic missile, causing a fire onboard. Crews from USS Carney (DDG-64), French Navy Frigate FS Alsace (D656) and Indian Navy Destroyer INS Visakhapatnam (D66) respond to the stricken oil tanker to assist in firefighting efforts.

The Houthis fire a single anti-ship ballistic missile toward USS Carney (DDG-64), which subsequently intercepts the missile.

Jan. 24

Houthis fire three anti-ship ballistic missiles at U.S.-owned and operated MV Maersk Detroit while the ship transits the Gulf of Aden. USS Gravely (DDG-107) intercepts two of the missiles while the third impacts the water.

U.S. forces preemptively strike two Houthi anti-ship missiles that CENTCOM says are ready to launch into international shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Jan. 22

A F/A-18E Super Hornet launches from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on Jan. 22, 2024, as part of the strike mission against missile and drone infrastcture tarets in Yemen. US Navy Photo

U.S. and UK forces, with assistance from Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Bahrain, strike multiple Houthi military sites with Tomahawk cruise missiles and fighter jets. Various U.S. warships, including one unidentified submarine, shoot cruise missiles while aircraft launch from carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). Royal Air Force aircraft also participate. Targeted infrastructure includes storage facilities for anti-ship missiles and facilities aiding Houthi launches into the Red Sea.

Jan. 20

U.S. forces preemptively strike a Houthi anti-ship missile that is ready to fire into the Gulf of Aden after deeming it a threat to merchant shipping and Navy vessels in the area.

Jan. 19

U.S. forces preemptively strike three Houthi anti-ship missiles ready to launch into international shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Jan. 18

The United Kingdom Maritime Transparency Organization reports that two vessels are nearly hit by one-way attack drones. Both vessels are unharmed in the attacks, with the drones hitting the water 800 and 30 meters away.

The Houthis launch two anti-ballistic missiles toward Marshall Islands-flagged and U.S.-owned MV Chem Ranger. Both missiles miss the tanker. The tanker’s crew observes the impact into the water. The vessel continues on its course and does not request assistance.

U.S. forces conduct a preemptive strike on two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles ready to launch into international shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Jan. 17

A Houthi one-way attack drone strikes Marshall Islands-flagged MV Genco Picardy in the Gulf of Aden. The bulk carrier reports no injuries or significant damage. The Indian Navy destroyer INS Visakhapatnam (D66) responds to the attack within the hour and provides a damage assessment.

U.S. forces preemptively destroy 14 anti-ship missiles before they can launch into the Red Sea. CENTCOM justifies the strike as self-defense, stating that the missiles “could have been fired at any time” at merchant vessels and Navy warships. The purpose of the strikes is to degrade Houthi capabilities and further attempts to disrupt international shipping lanes in the region.

Jan. 16

The Houthis strike Maltese-flagged MV Zografia with an anti-ship ballistic missile in the Southern Red Sea. While damaged, the bulk carrier remains seaworthy and continues on its voyage.

In retaliation for the strike on American-owned and operated MV Gibraltar Eagle, U.S. forces destroy four anti-ship ballistic missiles ready to launch at international shipping lanes in the Red Sea. According to the CENTCOM news release, these missiles represent an “immediate threat” to merchant shipping and Navy vessels.

The United Kingdom Maritime Transparency Organization reports that a merchant vessel is attacked by an unknown munition in the Red Sea. This unidentified merchant vessel continues on its voyage and reports no significant damage or casualties.

The United Kingdom Maritime Transparency Organization reports that four small boats approach a merchant vessel in the Red Sea. Despite closing within 400 meters of the vessel, a private security team onboard wards off the boats with warning shots.

Jan. 15

Marshall Islands-flagged and U.S.-owned and operated MV Gibraltar Eagle is harassed off the coast of Eritrea by small boats, although it’s unclear whether the boats belong to the Houthis. The boats are driven off after the onboard security team fires warning shots. Later in the day, a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile strikes Gibraltar Eagle. The crew reports no casualties or significant damage. U.S. forces detect another anti-ship ballistic missile launch before Gibraltar Eagle’s attack, but this missile lands in the water.

Jan. 14

A U.S. fighter jet intercepts a Houthi anti-ship missile heading towards USS Laboon (DDG-58) in the Southern Red Sea.

Jan. 13

USS Carney (DDG-64) uses Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to strike a Houthi radar site that is providing targeting information for anti-ship missiles launching into international shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Jan. 11

Guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107) launches Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles in response to increased Iranian-backed Houthi malign behavior in the Red Sea Jan. 12, 2024. US Navy Photo

U.S. and U.K. forces, with support from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Bahrain, launch their first joint strikes on Houthi targets since the start of the attacks on merchant shipping in the Red Sea. The two countries strike 60 Houthi targets across 16 sites in Yemen, including anti-ship missile sites, storage facilities and command and control centers, using fighter jets and cruise missiles. The U.S. and U.K. forces use at least 80 Tomahawk cruise missiles during the strikes from U.S. destroyers and an unidentified submarine.

Half an hour before the U.S. and UK strike, the Houthis fire an anti-ship ballistic missile into international shipping lanes in the Red Sea. A merchant vessel reports that the missile lands in its vicinity, harmlessly impacting the water away from any shipping.

Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher Chambers, 37, and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Ingram, 27
Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher Chambers, 37, and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Ingram, 27

Two Navy SEALs go missing off the coast of Somalia during a boarding operation on an Iranian dhow transporting missile components to Yemen. CENTCOM declares the two SEALs deceased 10 days later after an exhaustive search.

Jan. 9

U.S. and Royal Navy assets shoot down a number of missiles and drones launched by the Houthis in a mass anti-ship attack toward international shipping in the Red Sea. Fighter aircraft from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and four destroyers – three American and one British – down 18 one-way attack drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missile in a combined effort.

2023

Dec. 31

U.S. forces respond to a distress call from the Singapore-flagged MV Maersk Hangzhou, which four Houthi small boats attack, attempting to seize the container ship. While the Maersk Hangzhou takes fire from machine guns and small arms, the embarked private security team keeps the hijackers at bay. Helicopters from aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107) respond to the attack. Despite calls from U.S. forces to pull back, the Houthis open fire on the helicopters. In self-defense, the Navy helicopters return fire with Hellfire missiles, sinking three of the four attacking boats. Houthi media report that 10 fighters die in the attack.

Dec. 30

The Singapore-flagged MV Maersk Hangzhou sends out a distress call after a Houthi missile hits the ship. Two Navy destroyers, USS Laboon (DDG-58) and USS Gravely (DDG-107), respond. While en route, Gravely intercepts two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles.

Dec. 28

USS Mason (DDG-87) shoots down two Houthi munitions, an anti-ship ballistic missile and a one-way attack drone, that were heading into international shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Dec. 26

USS Laboon (DDG-58) and fighter aircraft from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) intercept Houthi attack drones, anti-ship ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles that the Houthis fire into the Red Sea. In total, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and Super Hornets down a dozen drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles and two anti-ship cruise missiles.

Dec. 23

Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Valentino Laboy, left, and Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class James Kuhule III preform passive sonar analysis aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) while the ship operates in support of Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) in the Red Sea, Dec. 21. US Navy Photo

USS Laboon (DDG-58) downs four Houthi drones headed toward the destroyer. Laboon then responds to distress calls from two tankers, the Norwegian-flagged MV Blaamanen and the Indian-flagged MV Saibaba. Blaamanen reports a near-miss from a drone, while Saibaba reports damage from a one-way attack drone.

The Pentagon claims that the attack on the Liberian-flagged MV Chem Pluto, 200 nautical miles off of India, is by a drone originating from Iran. Indian Navy and Coast Guard vessels respond to this attack and escort the stricken chemical tanker to Mumbai for further investigation.

Dec. 18

Houthis strike Cayman Islands-flagged MV Swan Atlantic with anti-ship ballistic missile and one-way attack drone. The tanker hails USS Carney (DDG-64) for assistance and the destroyer provides a damage assessment to Swan Atlantic.

Another Cayman Islands-flagged merchant ship, MV Clara, reports an explosion in its vicinity. MV Clara does not send any requests for aid.

Dec. 16

U.S. and U.K. warships engage a Houthi drone swarm heading toward international shipping lanes. In the Red Sea, USS Carney (DDG-64) shoots down a wave of 14 one-way attack drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. HMS Diamond (D34) engages another drone during the attack, marking the the first time a Royal Navy warship intercepts an aerial threat since the 1991 Gulf War.

Dec. 15

Houthi forces harass Liberian-flagged MSC Alanya. At 7 a.m. local time, the Houthis threaten to attack the container ship if it does not follow their directions and change course toward Yemen. Although Alanya keeps on its heading, ignoring the Houthis demands, the Houthis do not attack. U.S. forces keep in communication with the container ship during the ordeal, but there are no Navy warships nearby to render assistance.

At 9 a.m. local time, a Houthi-launched drone hits Liberian-flagged MV Al Jasrah during its transit in the Red Sea. Despite the strike causing a fire, Al Jasrah’s crew brings the flames under control, and the ship rescinds its request for aid. There are no casualties.

Houthis fire two anti-ship ballistic missiles into the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at 1 p.m. local time, with one striking the Liberian-flagged MV Palatium 3 and causing a fire onboard. The other anti-ship ballistic missile impacts open water, away from other merchant ships. USS Mason (DDG-87) responds to the container ship’s distress call.

Dec. 14

The Houthis fire one anti-ship ballistic missile into international shipping lanes in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. While this missile does not hit any merchant vessels, Houthi forces contact the Hong Kong-flagged MV Maersk Gibraltar, threatening the ship’s crew with additional missile attacks if it does not stop sailing. Despite no reports of damage or launches from Yemen, Houthi media claim to strike the container ship. U.S. forces monitor the situation. As a result, Maersk temporarily pauses shipping in the Red Sea.

Dec. 13

After Houthi forces unsuccessfully attempt to board the Marshall Island-flagged tanker MV Ardmore Encounter via boats, the organization fires two anti-ship cruise missiles. This attack also fails, with the missiles reportedly missing the tanker. USS Mason (DDG-87) downs an unmanned vehicle as the destroyer responds to Ardmore Encounter’s distress call.

Dec. 11, 2023

The Houthis fire an anti-ship cruise missile at Norweigian-flagged Motor Tanker Strinda while it’s transiting the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. No crew are harmed despite an ensuing fire onboard. On patrol in the area at the time, the French Navy frigate Languedoc (D 653) protects the stricken tanker by shooting down a drone that is headed toward Strinda. According to a French news release, this action prevents a hijacking attempt. After USS Mason (DDG-87) responds to the Mayday call and assists Strinda, Languedoc resumes its patrol.

Dec. 9

Languedoc downs two drones off the coast of Yemen in self-defense. The frigate uses Aster 15 missiles to shoot down the drones.

Dec. 6

USS Mason (DDG 87) downs a drone launched by the Houthis into the Red Sea.

Dec. 3

USS Carney (DDG-64) tracks an anti-ship ballistic missile that launches from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen at the Bahamas-flagged MV Unity Explorer at 9:15 a.m. local time. The crew reports that the missile falls into the water near the vessel. However, at 12:35 p.m. local time, another missile originating from the Houthis strikes the Unity Explorer. While responding to the distress call, Carney downs an inbound drone. The bulk carrier sustains minor damage from the strike and no casualties.

At at 3:30 p.m. local time, another missile originating from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen hits Panamanian-flagged MV Number 9 while the ship is transiting the Red Sea. The bulk carrier reports damage from the strike and no casualties.

The Houthis strike Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier MV Sophie II at around 4:30 p.m. local time. As USS Carney (DDG-64) heads to Sophie II to assist, the destroyer downs a drone flying in its direction. Sophie II sustains minor damage and no casualties.

Nov. 29

While escorting USNS Supply (T-AOE-6) and a U.S.-flagged commercial vessel carrying military supplies to an unspecified location, USS Carney (DDG-64) downs an Iranian-made KAS-04 unmanned aerial vehicle launched from Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen. With the drone heading in the general direction of the destroyer and the escorted vessels in the Red Sea, Carney’s commander engages the unmanned aerial vehicle in self-defense.

Nov. 26

USS Mason (DDG-87) intercepts a Houthi ASBM during its response to a hijacking attempt on the Liberian-flagged Central Park. The Pentagon tells reporters that the pirates are Somali. The Pentagon determines that Mason is not the target after Houthis fire two ballistic missiles toward Mason and Central Park.

Nov. 23

USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) shoots down multiple one-way attack drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

Nov. 15, 2023

USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) shoots down a drone launched from Yemen that is heading toward the warship while it transits the Red Sea.

Oct. 19

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG-64) defeats a combination of Houthi missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles in the Red Sea, Oct. 19, 2023. US Navy Photo

Shortly after completing its Suez Canal transit, USS Carney (DDG-64) shoots down several cruise missiles and drones launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen in a three-hour-long engagement in the Red Sea. While officials do not specify the number of targets Carney engages, the crew shoots down at least three cruise missiles with SM-2s. The Pentagon is ambiguous about whether the downed munitions are targeting U.S. warships or targets in Israel.

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