Red Sea attack: American-owned ship hit by missile as Houthi rebels label UK and US vessels 'hostile targets'

Red Sea attack: American-owned ship hit by missile as Houthi rebels label UK and US vessels 'hostile targets'

WATCH: A commercial vessel has been hit by a missile in the Gulf of Arden

GB News
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 15/01/2024

- 14:33

Updated: 15/01/2024

- 18:51

The vessel is said to have been 'hit by a missile from above'

Additional reporting by George Bunn

A commercial vessel has been struck by a missile, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) centre has confirmed.

The incident happened 95 nautical miles southeast of the Yemense port of Aden, with a Houthi senior military spokesperson confirming that the group now view all UK and US vessels as "hostile targets."

The vessel, was “hit by a missile from above” and received damage on its port side.

UKMTO added that authorities are investigating, and advised vessels to transit with caution.

Protests in Yemen

Supporters of the Houthi movement rally to denounce air strikes launched by the U.S. and Britain on Houthi targets,


According to the global maritime risk management service Ambrey, three missiles were launched at the vessel in the Gulf of Aden. Two missiles missed the ship. One struck the vessel on the port side and caused a fire in the cargo hold.

The ship has now been named as the M/V Gibraltar Eagle. The ship is owned by Eagle Bulk, a Stamford, Connecticut-based firm traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Ambrey added that no casualties have been reported and that the US-owned ship was not linked with Israel. It is reportedly continuing its journey.

An Eagle Bulk spokesperson said: "As a result of the impact, the vessel suffered limited damage to a cargo hold but is stable and is heading out of the area.

"All seafarers onboard the vessel are confirmed to be uninjured. The vessel is carrying a cargo of steel products."


A jet taking off

A U.S. jet taking off


US and British forces responded last week by carrying out dozens of air and sea strikes on Houthi targets.

Yemen's Houthi forces did not immediately acknowledge any attack.

Meanwhile, an explosion was heard near Yemen's Hodeidah airport, according to nearby residents. It is not yet known if the two incidents are connected.

It comes industry officials said the cost of Indian exports has more than doubled due to the Yemeni Houthi militia's attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

Al Jazeera reports that Houthi official Nasr al-Din Amer has said: "It is enough for ships to be American for us to target them."

Map image of Middle east

Security footage of where the strike took place


Exporters said 95 per cent of vessels had rerouted around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa, adding 4,000 to 6,000 nautical miles and 14-20 days to journeys from India since Houthi militants began attacking shipping in November.

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak said the UK’s participation in air strikes against Houthi rebels was "completely unrelated" to the Israel-Gaza conflict and Yemen’s civil war, Rishi Sunak told the Commons.

The Prime Minister said: "We shouldn’t fall for their (the Houthis’) malign narrative that this is about Israel and Gaza.

"They target ships from around the world. And we continue to work towards a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza and to get more aid to civilians.

"We also continue to support a negotiated settlement in Yemen’s civil war.

"But I want to be very clear that this action is completely unrelated to those issues. It is a direct response to the Houthis’ attacks on international shipping."

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