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Red Sea Crisis

Houthi target US-flagged Maersk ship in failed missile strike

Photo: SCA Maersk vessel in Suez Canal
File photo of Maersk vessel transiting Suez Canal
US-flagged Maersk vessel was targeted by Houthi missiles in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday.

US Central Command (Centcom) said in a post on social media network X that around 2pm local Houthi rebels in Yemen had fired three ballistic missiles towards the container ship Maersk Detroit.  Centcom said that one missile hit the sea while the two others were shot down by the warship USS Gravely.

The 2008-built Maersk Detroit is part of the fleet owned and operated by Maersk Line Ltd (MLL), the US-flag operations of Maersk. While the Danish company has taken the decision to divert its vessels from the Red Sea to transiting to the Cape of Good Hope, this does not necessarily apply to its US-flag operations.

The Maersk Detroit and another MLL vessel Maersk Chesapeake were under the protection of a US navy escort at the time of the failed attack and then changed course to return to the Gulf of Aden rather than continuing to proceed through the Red Sea.

The ships are reported to be safe with no injuries to crew.

Despite the ongoing multi-national naval force under Operation Prosperity Guardian, and strikes by US and UK forces on Houthi positions in Yemen, attacks on commercial vessels have continued on an almost daily basis.