Houthi missile hits bulker Gibraltar Eagle in the Gulf of Aden
Eagle Bulk Shipping’s Gibraltar Eagle loaded with a cargo of steel products was hit some 100 miles (160 kilometres) offshore in the Gulf of Aden. The US-based owner and operator said all its seafarers onboard the vessel remain unharmed.
According to the U.S. Central Command, the vessel was hit at approximately 16:00 (Sanaa time) by an anti-ship ballistic missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthi militants from the Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. According to the company, the vessel suffered limited damage to a cargo hold due to the impact. However, it is heading out of the area as it remained stable despite the damage.
It is unclear if the vessel had ties to Israel, which could have been one of the reasons it was attacked, as Houthis have pledged to attack any vessel with ties to the country. Its threats and subsequent attacks in the Red Sea have come as a response to Israel’s attack on Gaza.
In response to the attack on the shipping lanes, the U.S. and the U.K. targeted Houthi assets in Yemen, which prompted a response from Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthi militia, who said that these attacks would not go without response.
The militia’s spokesperson, Nasruldeen Amer, told Al Jazeera that British and American ships have now also become targets due to the strikes launched on Yemen. “The ship doesn’t necessarily have to be heading to Israel for us to target it. It is enough for it to be American,” he said. “The United States is on the verge of losing its maritime security.”