Houthis Resume Near Daily Red Sea Activity, Claim to Hit Israel-Linked Ship in Indian Ocean

April 30, 2024 5:52 PM
Houthi Anti-Ship Missiles on parade. Houthi Image

The Houthis have fired drones and missiles into the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden almost daily following a nine-day break.

Houthi activity slowed on April 16 but picked up again with an April 24 attack on Maersk Yorktown. It’s the second time the commercial vessel has been targeted by the Yemen-based group.

U.S. Central Command reported Houthi activity on April 24-26 and April 28 and 29, with the Houthis most recently claiming to have hit a Israeli-linked ship in the Indian Ocean, according to USNI News’ timeline of Red Sea activity.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sare’e announced via social media site X that the Houthis targeted MSC Orion in the Indian Ocean Monday. Central Command was aware of the reports, but did not have any information to share, a spokesperson told USNI News.

MSC’s schedule for Orion places the ship in port in Salalah, Oman, between 6 p.m. on April 28 and 6 p.m. on April 29. Sare’e posted to X at 5:43 p.m., on April 29. MSC’s schedule has the ship traveling to China, which would likely route it through the Indian Ocean.

The Houthis first threatened to attack ships in the Indian Ocean in mid-March, USNI News reported. Central Command releases have yet to include a ship targeted in the Indian Ocean.

The uptick in Houthi attacks coincides with the movement of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and USS Gravely (DDG-107) into the Eastern Mediterranean, although it’s unclear if the two are linked. The Pentagon has referred answers about the Houthis’ pause in Red Sea attacks from April 16-24 to the Yemeni group.

While Ike and Gravely are in the Eastern Mediterranean, two ships – USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and USS Laboon (DDG-58) – of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group remain in the Red Sea. Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh did not have an update on Monday as to whether additional ships would head to the Red Sea due to the recent uptick in activity.

Since April 24, the Houthis have targeted four commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, according to Central Command. The Houthis have also claimed to target two additional ships and to have shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper. Singh told reporters that the drone crashed and CENTCOM was investigating.

After the April 24 attack on Maersk Yorktown, the Houthis launched an attack on MV Maisha and MV Andromeda Star on April 26, following up an attack on MV Cyclades on April 29. On April 25 and April 28, Central Command reported that the Houthis launched missiles and drones.

Maisha sails under a Antigua/Barbados flag and is operated by a Liberian company, Andromeda Star is UK-owned, Seychelles-operated and sails under a Panama flag and Cyclades is a Greek-owned commercial vessel flying under a Malta flag.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
Follow @hmongilio

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