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Missile Hits US-Owned Ship as Fears of War Rise

A missile struck a U.S.-owned ship just off the coast of Yemen in the Gulf of Aden on Monday, according to officials.
The strike comes less than a day after Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired an anti-ship cruise missile toward an American destroyer in the Red Sea. Monday’s attack further escalates tensions in the Red Sea after American-led strikes on the rebels.
The U.S. military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) acknowledged Monday’s strike, blaming the Houthis for the assault.
CENTCOM posted on X (formerly Twitter), “On Jan. 15 at approximately 4 p.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi militants fired an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and struck the M/V Gibraltar Eagle, a Marshall Islands-flagged, U.S.-owned and operated container ship. The ship has reported no injuries or significant damage and is continuing its journey.”
The post continued: “Earlier in the day, at approximately 2 p.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Forces detected an anti-ship ballistic missile fired toward the Southern Red Sea commercial shipping lanes. The missile failed in flight and impacted on land in Yemen. There were no injuries or damage reported.”
A ship transits the Suez Canal toward the Red Sea on January 10, 2024, in Ismailia, Egypt. A missile hit a U.S.-owned ship on Monday just off the coast of Yemen in the Gulf of Aden. AFP/Getty Images
A Houthi military spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, took responsibility for the attack in a recorded television address that aired Monday night, according to the Associated Press.
“The Yemeni armed forces consider all American and British ships and warships participating in the aggression against our country as hostile targets,” he said.
Private security company Ambrey and Dryad Global said the vessel was the Eagle Gibraltar, a Marshall Islands–flagged bulk carrier, the AP said.
The ship is owned by Eagle Bulk Shipping, a company based in Stamford, Connecticut.
In a statement to the AP, the company said the strike caused “limited damage to a cargo hold but [the ship] is stable and is heading out of the area.”
“All seafarers onboard the vessel are confirmed to be uninjured,” the company continued. “The vessel is carrying a cargo of steel products. Eagle Bulk management is in close contact with all relevant authorities concerning this matter.”
On Monday, the U.S. Maritime Administration, which falls under the Transportation Department, said there continues to be “a high degree of risk to commercial vessels” traveling near Yemen.
“While the decision to transit remains at the discretion of individual vessels and companies, it is recommended that U.S. flag and U.S.-owned commercial vessels” stay away from Yemen in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden “until further notice,” the alert stated.
Newsweek reached out to Eagle Bulk via email for additional comment.
Update 1/15/24, 5:08 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to include an alert from the U.S. Maritime Administration.
Update 1/15/24, 2 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with comments from a Houthi military spokesman and Eagle Bulk Shipping.



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