Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Red Sea Crisis

Houthis claim successful attack on US-operated container ship

UK MoD HMS-Diamond-firing.jpg
Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sare'e has claimed that merchant vessel KOI was successfully attacked with naval missiles.

A press statement said that the 8,600 teu capacity Liberian-flagged container ship was headed for “occuppied Palestine” when it was targeted. KOI was built in 2011 and, according to Reuters, is operated by Oceonix Services. The Houthi statement did not state a date and time for the attack

Some media outlets are refuting the Houthi release as false, including Tradewinds, which carries a report that instead a crew member was evacuated by helicopter from KOI for medical reasons.

The alleged attack would be in keeping with recent events in the Red Sea where the Houthis have targeted US and UK-affiliated vessels with missile and drone attacks. Houthi announcements of attacks have repeatedly proven unreliable, however, especially with regards to their efficacy.

US Central Command said on Twitter that on 1 February at 0130 hrs local time it had destroyed a Houthi UAV control station and 10 one-way UAVs as they posed an immediate threat to merchant shipping in the region. US Central Command has reported multiple US strikes on Houthi missile and UAV assets on the ground in recent days, as well as intercepting missile and UAV attacks in progress on merchant and naval vessels.

The operator of KOI Oceonix Services also operates tanker Marlin Luanda which was struck by a missile on January 26, causing a fire onboard the ship which was carrying a cargo of naptha at the time.

The Houthis claim to be targeting merchant ships with ties to Israel in support of the Palestinian people and consider UK and US-linked vessels valid targets since US and UK military strikes on targeting Houthi assets in Yemen. "All American and British ships in the Red and Arab Sea are legitimate targets for the Yemeni armed forces as long as the American-British aggression against our country continues," the Houthi statement said.