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AL-MUKALLA: The US military said Yemen’s Houthi militia launched a new wave of drones and missiles into international shipping lanes off Yemen, including two missiles targeting a US warship in the Red Sea.

It comes as the Houthis claim to have attacked a US ship in the Red Sea again.

The U.S. Central Command said on Sunday that the Houthis fired three drones over the Red Sea on Saturday, one of which their forces destroyed, while the other two fell into the water and did not hit any ships in the important trade corridor.

The U.S. military said in a statement Sunday morning Yemen time that no injuries or damage were reported to coalition or U.S. commercial ships.

Also on Saturday, CENTCOM forces intercepted two anti-ship ballistic missiles in the southern Red Sea before they reached their target, the destroyer USS Gravely.

“The ASBMs were fired in the direction of the USS Gravely and were destroyed in self-defense, with no damage or injury to US, coalition or commercial ships,” the US military said in the same statement.

On Friday, the Houthis fired five drones and two ballistic missiles into the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but did not hit any ships in either commercial route, CENTCOM said.

In Sanaa, the Houthis on Saturday night claimed to have carried out six attacks on merchant and naval ships, including one on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier, in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said in a videotaped statement that their forces fired several ballistic missiles and drones at a US aircraft carrier and a US destroyer in the Red Sea.

The other four attacks targeted three ships: the Maina in the Red Sea, the Al-Oraiq in the Indian Ocean and the Abliani in the Red Sea for allegedly violating the ban on visiting Israeli ports.

Ship tracking app Marine Traffic identified the Maina as a Maltese-flagged bulk carrier that left the Russian port of Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea for the Indian port of Krishnapatnam early last month.

The Marshall Islands-flagged Al-Oraiq is an LNG tanker bound for Italy from Ras Laffan, Qatar, while the Malta-flagged Abliani is a crude oil tanker bound for the Suez Canal in Egypt. the application states.

Since November, the Houthis have sunk one commercial ship, captured another and claim to have fired hundreds of ballistic missiles and drones at more than 100 ships in the Red Sea, the Bab Al-Mandab Strait, the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean and much of the Mediterranean recently.

The Houthis say their actions are aimed exclusively at ships linked to Israel to try to pressure Israel to end its war in Gaza, a claim disputed by the Houthis’ opponents in Yemen, who accuse the militia of exploiting outrage across the country. civilian casualties in Gaza to bolster their public support at home.

The US has responded to the Houthi attacks by designating them as a terrorist organization, organizing a naval alliance to protect the sea, and launching airstrikes against Houthi strongholds in Yemen.

Despite U.S. claims that their attacks have weakened the Houthis, analysts say the increasing number of Houthi attacks on ships proves that the attacks are ineffective and that the Houthis continue to believe that their attacks have boosted their popularity.

“This (increase in Houthi attacks) suggests that US and UK airstrikes against Houthi targets are not working, at least not yet and not as effectively as planned,” Elisabeth Kendall, a Middle East expert and head of Girton College at the University of Cambridge, she told Arab News. “This shows that the Houthis believe that their attacks continue to benefit them in terms of gaining widespread popularity, international visibility and greater influence in their ongoing efforts to end the Yemeni war,” she added.

Kendall said continuing to attack ships, even with less accurate weapons, is a victory for the Houthis.

“The Houthis are resilient and the asymmetric nature of the conflict in the Red Sea benefits them. The sophistication of their weapons may diminish, but all they have to do is keep going.”

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