Houthi claim about aircraft carrier attack is false, US officials say

2 weeks ago 16

Yemen's Houthi fighters say they have attacked two more ships in the Red Sea, but US officials have labelled one of the claims false.

The group targeted a commercial vessel travelling through the Gulf of Aden - a stretch of water linking the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea - late on Friday.

The captain of the Transworld Navigator ship saw "explosions in the vicinity of the vessel," the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said.

The Joint Maritime Information Centre, overseen by the US, added the ship initially reported three nearby explosions but "was not hit and sustained no damage".

"The vessel and crew are reported to be safe and are proceeding to their next port of call," it added.

The Houthis, who have held Yemen's capital Sanaa since 2014, claimed the attack on Saturday night and said they also targeted a US aircraft carrier, the Eisenhower, but provided no evidence to support this.

Two US officials told the Reuters news agency the claim was false.

"That is incorrect," one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A flight operating crew member signals a F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet on the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower  aircraft carrier in Southern Red Sea.
Pic: Reuters

Image: A fighter jet takes off from the Eisenhower in the Red Sea. File pic: Reuters
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According to the US Naval Institute's news service, officials in the States had already ordered the Eisenhower to return to American waters to bring its eight-month tour to an end.

The Eisenhower has repeatedly been the subject of false attack claims during its time in the Red Sea, which has involved its most intense combat since the Second World War, the US Navy has said.

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the MV Tutor sinks in the Red Sea after it was struck by a Houthi drone vessel, Wednesday, June 12, 2024.   (Etat-Major des Armées/France via AP)

Image: The Houthis have launched more than 60 Red Sea attacks - and sunk a Greek-owned vessel last week. Pic: AP

It's believed another US aircraft carrier currently operating in the Pacific Ocean will be taking its place.

The Houthis have launched more than 60 attacks in the Red Sea since last October, and have seized one vessel and sunk two - including the Greek-owned Tutor which was sunk last week.

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Houthi footage 'shows Red Sea attack' on Tutor

They say they have targeted ships linked to Israel, the United States or Britain because of the war in Gaza, but many of those attacked have little or no connection to the Israel-Hamas war.

In response, the US and UK began airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen in January. A strike on 30 May killed at least 16 people and wounded 42 others, according to the Houthis.

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