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Missile Attack in Gulf of Aden

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Escalation Amidst Conflict

The attacks occurred as the rebels intensified their assaults due to Israel’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In the Gulf of Aden, two missiles were launched at an unnamed ship, as reported by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center. Ship-tracking data revealed the vessel on fire as the Palau-flagged cargo ship named Islander, which had navigated from Thailand to Egypt.

Response and Intercept

Military assets initiated a response to the fire on board caused by the missile attack. Simultaneously, sirens blared in Eilat early Thursday morning, with subsequent video uploads showing what seemed like an interception in the sky overhead. The interception was confirmed to have been carried out by Israel’s Arrow missile defense system.

Unclaimed Attacks

While the origin of the fire remains undisclosed, the Arrow system succeeded in intercepting a launch en route to Israel. The Israeli military assured that the target posed no threat to civilians as it was neutralized before crossing into Israeli territory. Notably, the Houthis did not immediately claim responsibility for either of the attacks.

Previous Instances

Eilat, situated on the Red Sea, has been a focal point for rebel activity. In a previous attack on October 31st, the Houthis claimed a barrage against the city consisting of missiles and drones. Despite repeated targeting, these assaults have yet to cause damage in Eilat.

Rebel Attacks on Ships in Red Sea Continues

Since November, rebel forces have been consistently targeting ships in the Red Sea and neighboring waters due to Israel’s conflict with Hamas. These attacks have disrupted shipping along a vital trade route linking Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The targets include vessels with no apparent connection to Israel, including one carrying cargo intended for Iran, a key supporter of the rebels.

Despite U.S.-Led Airstrikes, Houthis Remain a Threat

Despite ongoing airstrikes led by the U.S., Houthi rebels have shown resilience and are still capable of launching significant attacks. Recently, they inflicted serious damage on a ship in a strategic strait and successfully brought down an American drone valued at millions of dollars.

The rebels have made it clear that they will continue their assaults until Israel ceases its military operations in Gaza, a move that has sparked outrage across the Arab world and brought international attention to the Houthi cause.

Recent Developments in Red Sea Region

Reports from ships near the Houthi-controlled port city of Hodeida in Yemen indicated an explosion in the area, although all vessels remained unharmed according to UKTMO. Additionally, there were reports of heightened drone activity in the vicinity.

The U.S. Central Command confirmed intercepting a Houthi drone carrying explosives during this period. Furthermore, U.S. airstrikes targeted multiple mobile anti-ship missiles stationed in the region, aiming to prevent potential attacks on ships navigating the Red Sea.

International Criticism of Houthi Actions

The U.S. State Department strongly condemned the indiscriminate attacks on civilian cargo ships by the Houthis, which have resulted in delays in delivering essential humanitarian aid such as food and medicine to regions like Ethiopia, Sudan, and Yemen. One such vessel affected was the Sea Champion, carrying vital supplies to Aden and Hodeida.

In response to these actions, a spokesperson from the U.S. State Department emphasized that the Houthi attacks do not contribute positively to the Palestinian cause, failing to provide any meaningful assistance or sustenance to those in need.

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