US Confirms the Houthis Struck Two US-Owned Cargo Ships

The US also launched more strikes against Yemen and said it downed 10 Houthi drones

The US military on Tuesday said that Yemen’s Houthis struck two US cargo ships a day earlier, confirming a statement made by the Yemeni group on the attacks.

US Central Command said the Houthis fired two missiles at the Sea Champion, a Greek-flagged, US-owned grain carrier, causing minor damage. The command said the ship could continue to its destination of Aden, Yemen.

The Houthis also fired a drone at the Navis Fortuna, a Marshall Islands-flagged, US-owned bulk carrier. The attack also caused minor damage, and the command said the vessel was able to continue its voyage to Italy.

CENTCOM also claimed that it struck a surface-to-air missile launcher in Yemen and a drone that was preparing to launch. The US has been bombing Yemen almost every day, but the strikes have done nothing to deter the Houthis.

From Monday night into early Tuesday morning, CENTCOM said that US and allied warships downed ten Houthi drones. “Between 8 pm on Feb. 19 and 12:30 am on Feb. 20, US and coalition aircraft and warships shot down 10 OWA UAVs [one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicles] in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden,” the command said.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said Yemeni forces launched drones at US warships, likely referring to the incident reported by CENTOM. Sarea said the operations come “in support of the Palestinian people, who are still facing the Israeli aggression and siege, and in response to the US and British aggression on our country.”

The Houthis, officially known as Ansar Allah, have made clear they will only stop their attacks on shipping once the Israeli onslaught in Gaza comes to an end. The US bombing campaign has only escalated the situation as the Houthis were not targeting American or British shipping before the US and UK launched the first round of strikes on Yemen on January 12.

The US backed a Saudi/UAE-led coalition against the Houthis in a brutal war that killed 377,000 people between 2015 and 2022. During that time, the Houthis only became a more formidable fighting force and developed missile and drone technology that gave them the ability to hit Saudi oil infrastructure. A ceasefire between the Saudis and Houthis has held relatively well since April 2022, but new US sanctions are now blocking the implementation of a peace deal.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.