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Houthis attack Ukrainian ship with missiles in Gulf of Aden

Houthis attack Ukrainian ship with missiles in Gulf of Aden Photo: Houthis (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Iranian-backed Houthis attacked the Ukrainian ship Verbena with two anti-ship cruise missiles in the Gulf of Aden. A fire broke out on board, and one sailor was seriously injured, according to the US Central Command.

The Verbena vessel reported damage and subsequent fires on board. The crew continues to fight the fire, the report says.

An aircraft from the Philippine Sea warship (CG 58) evacuated the wounded sailor to a nearby partner warship for medical care.

The bulk carrier Verbena was sailing from Malaysia to Italy with wooden building materials. The Ukrainian vessel was under the control of Poland and flew the flag of Palau.

"This continued reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Houthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden," the US Central Command says.

The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, but they are attacking and threatening the lives of third-country nationals who have nothing to do with the conflict in the Gaza Strip, the statement says.

The ongoing threat to safe transit through the region posed by the Houthis makes it difficult to deliver critical aid to the people of Yemen and Gaza, the US military adds.

Houthi attacks on ships

The Yemeni Houthi group began attacking merchant ships in the Strait of Aden and the Red Sea in October 2023 after the outbreak of the conflict between Hamas and Israel. Reports of attacks are received almost daily.

The Houthi attacks have complicated global trade, forcing ships to sail around Africa. The United States recently imposed sanctions on ten individuals, ships, and companies to block revenue for the Houthis.