Yemen’s Houthis Hit Another British-Owned Cargo Ship

The US bombing campaign in Yemen has failed to stop Houthi attacks

The Houthis struck another British-owned cargo ship on Thursday as the US bombing campaign in Yemen is failing to deter Houthi attacks and has only escalated the situation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

US Central Command said that two Houthi ballistic missiles fired into the Gulf of Aden “impacted the MV Islander, a Palau-flagged, UK-owned cargo carrier, causing one minor injury and damage.” CENTCOM said the ship was able to continue its voyage despite the damage.

Earlier in the day, CENTCOM said US aircraft and an allied warship shot down six Houthi drones in the Red Sea. On Wednesday, the command said it launched four strikes against Houthi-controlled Yemen and claimed the bombing destroyed “seven mobile Houthi Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles and one mobile Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile launcher that were prepared to launch towards the Red Sea.”

The Islander is the second British ship the Houthis successfully targeted this week. They also hit the Rubymar, a bulk carrier, causing significant enough damage for the crew to abandon the ship. The Houthis said the Rubymar sank, but pictures of the vessel surfaced on Thursday, showing it down by the stern but still afloat. However, the ship’s operator said it could still sink as it’s being towed to Djibouti.

Picture of the Rubymar obtained by BBC

The Houthis, officially known as Ansar Allah, also struck two US-owned cargo ships this week, causing minor damage. The Houthis did not start targeting American and British commercial shipping until the US and the UK launched their first round of missile strikes on Yemen on January 12.

President Biden previously acknowledged that the strikes against the Houthis were not working to stop the attacks, but he vowed they would continue anyway. The Houthis have been clear that they would only stop their Red Sea operations if the Israeli onslaught in Gaza comes to an end.

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.