Houthis Launch Drone and Missile Attacks on Four Ships in Red Sea and Indian Ocean

Houthis Launch Drone and Missile Attacks

2nd May 2024

Report : The Houthi movement carried out drone and missile strikes against four vessels in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean

In a significant escalation of tensions, Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched attacks on four vessels in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean on Tuesday. The targeted ships included a container ship, a commercial vessel, and two US destroyers. The Houthis claimed the attacks were part of their ongoing campaign against international shipping in solidarity with Palestinians and against Israeli actions in Gaza.

The first attack targeted the MV Cyclades, a Greek-owned commercial vessel sailing under the Maltese flag, in the Red Sea. The Houthis claimed to have used drones and missiles in the attack, though the extent of damage remains unclear. The second target was the US destroyer USS Mason, also in the Red Sea. US Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed the attack but stated there were no casualties or damage to the ship.

The third attack involved the US destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill in the Indian Ocean. Similar to the USS Mason incident, CENTCOM acknowledged the attack but reported no injuries or damage. The final target was the MSC Orion, a container ship sailing in the Indian Ocean. While details are limited, reports suggest the Houthis used a drone in this attack as well.

The Houthi attacks come amidst a period of heightened tensions in the region. The ongoing war in Yemen, which pits the Houthi rebels against a Saudi-led coalition, has created a humanitarian crisis. The Houthis have previously launched attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait, a crucial trade route for global commerce.

Indian Ocean Red Sea

Analysts warn that these latest attacks represent a significant escalation. Targeting US warships directly could lead to a military response. Additionally, the attacks disrupt vital shipping lanes, potentially impacting global trade and raising insurance costs.

“This is a dangerous development,” said Dr. Fatima Ali, a Yemeni political analyst based in Cairo. “The Houthis are trying to internationalize the Yemen conflict and pressure the international community to intervene in their favor. However, these attacks risk sparking a wider conflict with unpredictable consequences.”

Also Read : Red Sea Reroute: Houthi Attacks Drive Up Carbon Emissions by Millions

The international community has condemned the Houthi attacks. The UN Security Council called for an immediate halt to all attacks on civilian vessels. The United States has also expressed its concern and reiterated its commitment to freedom of navigation in the region.

The Houthis have yet to respond to the international condemnation. Their leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, has previously threatened further attacks on international shipping if Israel continues its military actions in Gaza.


The Houthi attacks on four vessels in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean represent a worrying escalation in regional tensions. These attacks disrupt vital trade routes, raise security concerns, and risk a wider military confrontation. The international community must work together to de-escalate the situation and find a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Yemen.

Also Read : Houthis Revive Red Sea Attacks, Target Container Ship in Gulf of Aden

Click here to join our Telegram chanel

You will get information, news, and support related to Merchant Navy.