NEW: Terrorists Attack Ships

( – According to statements from the U.S. military and maritime agencies, recent attacks by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Huthi rebels on Red Sea shipping have intensified, targeting a Greek commercial vessel.

Since April 24, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has documented at least seven incidents in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, which disrupted a period of relative calm along this crucial maritime corridor.

Controlling Sanaa and a significant portion of Yemen’s Red Sea coastline, the Huthis have escalated their maritime assaults since November, citing solidarity with Palestinians amidst the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported that early this week, the rebels attacked the MV Cyclades, a Maltese-flagged Greek ship, with a combination of three anti-ship ballistic missiles and three drone strikes.

Despite these attacks, CENTCOM noted on X that the vessel suffered no injuries and proceeded on its route.

That same day, an explosion damaged a vessel off Yemen’s northwest coast near Mokha, though the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) assured that the vessel and crew were safe.

Ambrey, a maritime security firm, noted that the damaged Malta-flagged container ship, traveling from Djibouti to Jeddah, was likely targeted due to its operator’s connections with Israel.

Additionally, CENTCOM disclosed that U.S. forces intercepted a drone over the Red Sea, aimed at the USS Philippine Sea and USS Laboon, while the Huthi rebels have openly claimed responsibility for attacks on the Cyclades, MSC Orion, and two US vessels.

Huthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree explained via social media that the Cyclades was targeted for having docked at an Israeli port on April 21, which vowed continued military actions until Israel ceases operations in the Gaza Strip.

In response to these threats, the United States launched a maritime security initiative last December to safeguard Red Sea shipping from such Huthi attacks, which have compelled commercial vessels to reroute from this pathway critical to 12% of global trade.

Since January, the U.S. and UK have conducted several retaliatory strikes against Huthi positions in Yemen. In February, the European Union initiated the Aspides naval mission to enhance protection for merchant ships in the Red Sea.

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