Houthi Group’s Unchecked Attacks on Commercial Ships Threaten Global Shipping Industry


The Houthi rebels in Yemen have continued their attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, despite recent lulls in the news. In the past day, US forces destroyed several Houthi assets, including an air defense sensor, an unmanned surface vessel, and a patrol boat.

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, led by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s decision to extend its deployment, has continued to play a key role in defending commercial vessels from Houthi attacks. In recent days, the Houthis have launched several anti-ship ballistic missiles, including one that struck the M/V Verbena, a bulk cargo carrier, causing severe injuries and a fire on board.

The incident is the second time the Verbena has been targeted in 24 hours, with the first attack causing no reported damage or injuries. The vessel was en route from Malaysia to Italy, carrying wood construction material. A day earlier, another Houthi unmanned surface vessel struck the M/V Tutor, a Liberian-flagged vessel.

According to a US defense official, the Houthis have conducted 51 self-defense strikes against US forces since November 2023. The attacks have continued unabated, despite claims by the Houthis that they will cease hostilities in response to Israel’s war in Gaza against Hamas. At least 65 countries have been affected by the attacks, according to a new Defense Intelligence Agency report.

The report also notes that the Houthis have damaged 18 commercial vessels, hijacked one ship, and attempted more than 40 attacks since November. From November 19 to the present, the Houthis have attacked or threatened US Navy and commercial vessels 190 times. As a result, at least 29 major energy and shipping companies have altered their routes to avoid the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, with container shipping through the Red Sea declining by approximately 90% since December 2023.

Mike Brest
Mike Brest
Defense Reporter. Prior to joining the defense beat, he spent two years covering breaking news, and he worked at the Daily Caller in a similar capacity before that. Mike graduated from American University and is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia.

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