The spokesperson for the Houthi military, Yahya Saree, stated in a press release that the first attack targeted the American ship Star Nasia, while the other targeted the British ship Morning Tide. The projectile was *«launched from a small boat»* and exploded near the ship, causing minor damage.
Although the hull does not appear to have been breached, there was material damage, he added. The ship was en route from the United States to India, and its owner is listed on the American stock exchange, which could explain why it was associated with the United States, Ambrey estimated.
Since January, the United States has carried out several operations in Yemen and off the coast of the war-torn country, sometimes jointly with the United Kingdom, in an effort to protect ships from Houthi attacks, which disrupt traffic on this essential route for global trade. The Yemeni rebels began targeting merchant ships in November, claiming to be aiming at cargo vessels linked to Israel in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, who are facing a war between Israel and Hamas.
The attack carried out on Monday night targeted *«two naval surface drones loaded with explosives»*, stated Centcom on the social network X. These drones were *«identified»* in *«areas of Yemen controlled by the Houthis»* and represented *«an imminent threat to U.S. naval vessels and merchant ships»*, he added, using words commonly used after each strike.
Backed by Iran, a major adversary of the United States, the Houthi rebels control a significant portion of the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula after nearly a decade of war against the Yemeni government. While the Houthis claim to target ships linked to Israel, the main military support of which comes from the United States, other pro-Iranian armed groups have stepped up attacks in the region in recent weeks against U.S. interests.