Eager to prove to the world that they can still cause trouble, the Houthi rebels responded to a massive strike by U.S. and British forces by launching a missile Friday at an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden.
The Houthis missile landed 400 to 500 meters away from the tanker, Ambrey Analytics, which provides information about merchant shipping, reported, according to Bloomberg.
The report said three small boats also followed the tanker.
Ambrey Analytics said the ship was formerly owned by a British company, making it possible the attack was an instance of mistaken identity.
The Houthis attack came hours before the United States launched a follow-up strike on the Yemen-based Houthis. On Thursday night American time, American and British forces attacked several Houthi military sites.
“At 3:45 a.m. (Sana’a time) on Jan 13., U.S. forces conducted a strike against a Houthi radar site in Yemen,” U.S. Central Command posted on X.
“This strike was conducted by the USS Carney (DDG 64) using Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles and was a follow-on action on a specific military target associated with strikes taken on Jan. 12 designed to degrade the Houthi’s ability to attack maritime vessels, including commercial vessels,” the Central Command post said, noting that since Nov. 19, the Houthis have launched 28 attacks against shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
At 3:45 a.m. (Sana’a time) on Jan 13., U.S. forces conducted a strike against a Houthi radar site in Yemen. This strike was conducted by the USS Carney (DDG 64) using Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles and was a follow-on action on a specific military target associated with strikes… pic.twitter.com/YE5BKJLGBv
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 13, 2024
Before the second attack, Lt. Gen. Douglas Sims, director of the U.S. military’s Joint Staff, said a Houthis response had been expected, according to The New York Times.
“I would expect that they will attempt some sort of retaliation. We simply are not going to be messed with here,” he said.
In the Thursday night attack, the first wave of American British forces struck more than 60 targets in 16 spots with about 100 missiles and bombs. A second wave then hit 12 additional sites with more than 50 weapons.
In condemning the attacks, Russia said they were “irresponsible” and could lead to the spread of chaos throughout the Middle East. The Houthis, meanwhile, said they would not stop attacks on shipping they claim is linked to Israel or its allies.
“This new strike will have a firm, strong and effective response,” Houthi spokesperson Nasruldeen Amer said, according to Reuters.
Although the Houthis have done little damage, one commentator said that is not likely to continue.
“I don’t think we should assume that at present, the U.S and coalition vessels are completely impregnable. The U.S. sailors have done a commendable job so far, but at some point, human and or technical errors occur,” Zev Faintuch, senior intelligence analyst at security firm Global Guardian, said, according to Newsweek.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.