Missile Fire Targets Ship Off Yemen In The Red Sea, Likely Fired By Houthi Rebels

This is a locator map for Yemen with its capital, Sanaa. (AP Photo)
This is a locator map for Yemen with its capital, Sanaa. (AP Photo)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Missile fire apparently targeted a ship Friday off Yemen in the Red Sea, the latest attack suspected to have been carried out by Yemen's Houthi rebels amid Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The vessel's captain reported an explosion nearby the ship in the Red Sea off the Yemeni city of Mocha, the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization center said.

“The crew and the vessel are reported safe,” the UKMTO said.

It did not immediately identify the vessel targeted. The security firm Ambrey described the ship as a Panama-flagged tanker and similarly said the crew was unharmed, though the vessel sustained minor damage.

Yemen's Houthi rebels did not immediately acknowledge carrying out the attack. However, the rebels typically take several hours before claiming their assaults.

Since November, the rebels have repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea over Israel’s offensive in Gaza. They have frequently targeted vessels with tenuous or no clear links to Israel, imperiling shipping in a key route for trade among Asia, the Mideast and Europe.

The U.S. and British militaries have conducted multiple rounds of airstrikes targeting the Houthis’ missile arsenals and launch sites in territory they hold.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military's Central Command acknowledged carrying out new airstrikes targeting the Houthis on Thursday. It described hitting three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles in Houthi-controlled territory that “were prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea.”