U.S. Forces Destroy Missile Launchers in Yemen; Cargo Ship Struck by Houthi Missiles

U.K.-owned MV Islander was reportedly flying under a banner that read, 'SYRIAN CREW ON BOARD,' likely as a precautionary measure against potential threats from militants
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 07:05 AM, February 23, 2024
  • 938
U.S. Forces Destroy Missile Launchers in Yemen; Cargo Ship Struck by Houthi Missiles
Cargo ship MV Islander @Wikipedia

A day after U.S. Forces claimed to have destroyed seven Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles besides one ballistic missile launcher in Yemen, two Houthi missiles impacted a U.K.-owned cargo carrier in the Red Sea causing one injury and damage to the ship.

Between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. (Sanaa time) on February 22, U.S. aircraft and a coalition warship shot down six Iranian-backed Houthi one-way attack (OWA) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the Red Sea. The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) identified these UAVs as an imminent threat, likely targeting U.S. and coalition warships.

Later in the day, between 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., the Houthis fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles from southern Yemen into the Gulf of Aden. These missiles impacted the MV Islander,a Palau-flagged, U.K.-owned cargo carrier, causing one minor injury and damage to the ship. Despite the attack, the ship is reported to be continuing its voyage. The MV Islander was bound for Egypt and was allegedly flying under a banner that read, “SYRIAN CREW ON BOARD,” likely to protect the ship from militants plaguing the international trade route.  

The incident follows U.S. CENTCOM's announcement on February 21 that they had conducted four self-defense strikes against seven mobile Houthi Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles and one mobile Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile launcher. The strikes aimed to thwart an imminent threat to the Red Sea, protecting both merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region. Additionally, CENTCOM forces shot down a one-way attack unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in self-defense during the same timeframe.

The missiles, launchers, and UAS were identified by CENTCOM forces as originating from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. The destruction of these threats was presented as actions to safeguard freedom of navigation, ensuring the safety and security of international waters for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels. The subsequent Houthi missile attack on the U.K.-owned cargo carrier raises questions about the effectiveness of the earlier operations and the ongoing tensions in the region.

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