Missile strike by Houthis leads to ship evacuation in Gulf of Aden

The cargo ship True Confidence, flying the Barbados flag and owned by a Greek company, was struck by a missile approximately 50 nautical miles southwest of Aden, Yemen, in an incident claimed by Houthi rebels. Following the attack on Wednesday, the vessel was reported to be adrift and on fire, according to statements from the ship’s owner and operator. There was no immediate information on the fate of the ship’s 23 personnel, comprising 20 crew members and three armed guards. However, sources informed Reuters that three sailors were missing, and four suffered severe burns. U.S. officials, who preferred to remain anonymous, disclosed to The Associated Press that the assault resulted in casualties.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) revealed that the crew had evacuated the vessel, which was now beyond their control. Houthi spokesperson, Yahya Sarea, stated the attack was a response to the crew ignoring warnings from Yemeni naval forces. The assault is part of a broader pattern of Houthi actions against international shipping, purportedly in support of Palestinians and against Israel’s actions in Gaza, which has compelled shipping companies to seek alternative routes around Southern Africa, significantly impacting global shipping routes.

The ship is managed by the Greece-based Third January Maritime and owned by True Confidence Shipping, registered in Liberia, both of which asserted that the ship had no connections to the U.S. It was previously under the ownership of Oaktree Capital Management, a fund based in Los Angeles. Despite ongoing U.S.-led airstrikes against the Houthis for over a month, the group has continued its offensive capabilities, evidenced by recent attacks, including the sinking of the Rubymar cargo ship and the downing of an American drone.

Additionally, the Houthis claimed an attack on the USS Carney, a U.S. Navy destroyer, using drones and a missile, which was countered by a U.S. airstrike that destroyed Houthi missile and drone capabilities. The Houthi military spokesperson stated that the attacks will persist until the conflict and blockade against Palestinians in Gaza are lifted.–Web Desk