Red Sea attacks: Greek vessel hit by missile fired by Houthi rebels

Two ships in the Red Sea
Image caption,Dozens of vessels have been targeted by the Houthis in the Red Sea since November (file image)

By Kathryn Armstrong

BBC News

Yemen’s Houthi movement has hit another ship in the Red Sea off Yemen, the Iranian-backed rebel group says.

The Greek-owned bulk carrier Zografia was sailing from Vietnam to Israel when it was struck on Tuesday. It is said to have suffered only minor damage.

The incident comes as the US military announced it had seized Iranian-supplied weapons bound for the Houthis during an operation last week.

Meanwhile, the US has hit more targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

Four anti-ship ballistic missiles that were ready to be launched were destroyed, an official told CBS, the BBC’s American partner.


The US and UK launched a wave of airstrikes against dozens of Houthi targets on 11 January following attacks by the group on shipping in the Red Sea.

The Houthis began attacking merchant vessels in November, saying they were responding to Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

  • Who are the Houthis attacking Red Sea ships?

On Tuesday, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said the Zografia had been targeted by naval missiles, resulting in a “direct hit”.

The Greek-owned, Malta-registered ship was empty and had 24 crew onboard. There are no reports of injuries.

The Houthis say they are attacking vessels that are Israeli-owned or operated, or are heading to Israeli ports. However, many of the ships targeted have no connections with Israel.

On Sunday, the US said it had shot down a missile fired towards one of its warships from a Houthi area of Yemen.

A day later, the group said they had carried out a ballistic missile strike on a US-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden.

The Red Sea connects the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal but several shipping lines have announced they are now diverting round the Cape of Good Hope to reach Europe instead.

British oil giant Shell on Tuesday became the latest to suspend all of its shipments through the Red Sea indefinitely, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Weapons seized by the US from a ship near the coast of Somalia, lined up on the deck of a ship. It shows a number of deconstructed parts, with a missile shown in multiple parts at the bottom of the screen.
Image caption,The US has seized weapons from a ship near the coast of Somalia

The US said on Tuesday that it had seized advanced Iranian weapons that were being transported to the Houthis. The operation took place five days ago.

The material found onboard a sailboat included components for ballistic and cruise missiles, among them warheads and guidance systems. Parts for air defence equipment were also seized.

The US military said initial analysis indicated the Houthis had been using the same kinds of weapons in attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

“This is the first seizure of lethal, Iranian-supplied advanced conventional weapons (ACW) to the Houthis since the beginning of Houthi attacks against merchant ships in November,” US Central Command said in a statement.

Central Command also said a search is continuing for two Navy Seals who were lost overboard during the operation.

Iran denied being behind the Houthi missile capability.

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