Houthis Claim Attacks On U.S. Ships In Gulf Of Aden, Red Sea; Assert Use Of 'Submarine Weapons;' Ability To Seal Bab El-Mandeb Strait

February 25, 2024

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On February 25, 2024, the armed forces of the Yemeni Houthi Ansar Allah movement claimed responsibility for firing several "appropriate naval missiles" at the American ship the MV Torm Thor, and also for a drone attack on American warships in the Red Sea. This claim was made just three days after the group took responsibility for a series of drone and missile attacks on American and British vessels in the Red Sea, and on targets in Israel.[1]

Houthi armed forces spokesman Brigadier-General Yahya Saree' declared that the Houthi armed forces "will confront the American-British escalation with more high-quality military operations."[2] Senior Houthi officials also announced that they had begun to use "submarine weapons" and threatened that they have the ability to completely seal the Bab El-Mandeb Strait.

The following is a review of some of the statements issued by the Houthis between February 23 and 25, 2024:

Houthi Armed Forces: "We Will Confront The American-British Escalation With More High-Quality Military Operations"

On February 25, 2024, on his Telegram and his X accounts, in both Arabic and in English, Houthi armed forces spokesman Saree' claimed responsibility for targeting American warships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and added that the Houthi armed forces "will confront the American-British escalation with more high-quality military operations against all hostile targets in the Red and Arabian seas… and their military operations will not stop unless the aggression stops and the siege on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is lifted."[3]

On February 24, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported that on the same day at 5 p.m. (Sana'a time), the USS Mason (DDG 87) shot down one Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) launched into the Gulf of Aden from Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. The missile was likely targeting the MV Torm Thor, a U.S.-flagged, owned, and operated chemical/oil tanker. Neither the USS Mason nor the MV Torm Thor were damaged and there were no injuries.[4]

Senior Houthi Officials: We Have Started Using "Submarine Weapons" In The Battle; We Can Completely Seal The Bab El-Mandeb Strait

Also on February 24, on its official website, Ansar Allah published a poster showing three "made-in-Yemen" submarines advancing on an American vessel. The poster also bore a quote from remarks made by Houthi leader Abd Al-Malik Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi during his most-recent speech on February 22, 2024, according to which, "the submarine weapons worry the enemy."[5]

It is noteworthy that it was in the same speech that the Houthi leader revealed that Yemen has introduced submarine weapons into the battle. He further claimed that, to date, the Houthis have attacked 48 ships and launched 183 rockets and drones at "Israeli targets in the occupied territories," and asserted that his forces acquire precise intelligence "in unusual ways" about the owners of the vessels and their destinations. The Houthi leader also stated that his forces have enhanced rockets that the American forces cannot intercept.[6]

On February 23, 2024, in a post on his X account, Houthi Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Al-Izzi asserted that the Houthis can completely seal the Bab El-Mandeb Strait, and that the fact that they have refrained from doing so demonstrates that they "are still ensuring the freedom of the seas, and that the U.S. and Britain are lying."[7]



[2] Telegram, February 25, 2024.

[3] Telegram, February 25, 2024.

[4] Twitter, February 24, 2024.

[5] Telegram, February 24, 2024.

[6] Telegram, February 22, 2024.

[7] Twitter, February 23, 2024.

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