U.S. Military Destroys Houthi Anti-Ship Missile

By Ethan Cole on
 January 27, 2024

In a recent significant development, the United States has taken action against a Houthi anti-ship missile in Yemen.

This missile posed a direct and immediate threat to US Navy ships operating in the region. The destruction of this missile by the US forces highlights a rising tension in a strategically vital area.

The strike, aimed at neutralizing an imminent threat to the US Navy, was in response to a Houthi-claimed attack on a British-linked oil tanker.

Escalating Tensions in the Gulf of Aden

The situation in the Gulf of Aden escalated following an attack by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, which resulted in a fire on a British-linked oil tanker, The Independent reported.

This incident has caused significant concern among international stakeholders, particularly in the United Kingdom. In response, the UK government emphasized its right, along with its allies including the US, to take appropriate retaliatory measures.

The US Central Command announced the latest strike, stating that the targeted missile was aimed towards the Red Sea and was in a ready-to-launch position. This revelation underscores the gravity of the threat posed by the Houthi rebels, not only to military vessels but also to commercial shipping in the region.

US and UK's Firm Stance on Maritime Safety

The US justified its action by declaring it was taken in self-defense. According to the US central command, this decisive move was crucial to ensure the safety of merchant vessels and Navy ships in the area.

They stressed that such actions are vital for maintaining freedom of navigation and securing international waters for all.

This incident follows a stern warning from Rishi Sunak, the UK's leader. He stated earlier this week that the UK would not hesitate to launch further airstrikes against the Houthi rebels if attacks on ships in the Red Sea continued.

This statement came shortly after RAF jets participated in a joint US-UK action, marking a clear stance against Houthi aggression.

The Root of Houthi Aggression

The Houthis have claimed that their attacks are a response to the conflict in Gaza. However, the UK government has dismissed this justification, pointing out that the targets of these attacks have no direct links to Israel.

This rebuttal by the UK indicates a complex geopolitical landscape influencing the rebels' actions.

Following the initial set of US-UK strikes, the UK's foreign secretary, Lord Cameron, remarked that these actions sent a clear message to Iran.

Iran's support for the Houthi rebels has been a point of contention in the ongoing regional conflict. Despite these strikes, the Houthis have vowed to continue their actions, underlining a potential escalation in hostilities.

Details of the Oil Tanker Attack

Recently, the M/V Marlin Luanda, a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, was attacked in the Gulf of Aden. A UK government spokesperson reported that there were no casualties, and nearby coalition vessels were promptly on the scene.

This incident further emphasizes the volatile situation in the region's shipping lanes.

Rishi Sunak, commenting on the situation, claimed that the initial strikes on Houthis were effective. However, the continued aggression by the Houthi rebels suggests a complex and ongoing challenge in ensuring maritime security.

UK's Non-Involvement in the Latest Strike

The Ministry of Defence clarified that the UK was not involved in the latest US strike against the Houthi missile. This statement delineates the roles and actions of the US and UK in the ongoing conflict, highlighting a coordinated but distinct approach by each nation.

Meanwhile, efforts to extinguish the fire on the British-linked oil tanker continued throughout Thursday night. The tanker, operated on behalf of trading giant Trafigura, is managed by Oceonix Services Ltd, a UK-registered company.

The incident underscores the broad implications of regional conflicts on international commerce and shipping.


Trafigura, in a statement on Saturday, stressed that the safety of their crew was of utmost importance. They are diligently working to control the blaze on the tanker. This statement reflects the direct human impact of such conflicts on individuals working in these critical sectors.

It's important to reiterate the significance of these events. This recent strike by the US against a Houthi missile in Yemen was a critical measure to protect naval operations and maintain the safety of commercial shipping in the region. The continuing tensions highlight the complex geopolitical dynamics at play and the necessity for vigilant and decisive action in ensuring maritime security.

  • The US destroyed a Houthi anti-ship missile in Yemen, citing an imminent threat to its Navy.
  • The strike was a response to a Houthi attack on a British-linked oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden.
  • The UK and US have emphasized their right to take appropriate actions in defense of maritime safety.
  • The US justified its action as necessary for the safety of merchant and naval vessels in the area.
  • Houthis claim their attacks are linked to the conflict in Gaza, which the UK rejects.
  • UK's foreign secretary stated that initial strikes sent a clear message to Iran.
  • The latest attack involved a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, with no casualties reported.
  • The UK was not involved in the latest US strike against the Houthi missile.
  • Trafigura emphasizes the safety of their crew as they battle the tanker blaze.

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