US military confirms Yemen’s Houthis targeting of vessel Pinocchio

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The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said early on Tuesday that Yemen’s Houthis fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles from Houthi-controlled areas into the Red Sea toward merchant vessel Pinocchio, adding that there was no injuries or damage reported.

Earlier Tuesday, a military spokesman for Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack in televised speech.

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According to public databases operated by Equasis and the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Pinocchio is a Liberian-flagged container ship that is owned by Singapore-registered company OM-MAR 5 INC.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said the group will escalate their military operations in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in solidarity with Palestinians during the war in Gaza.

Houthis’ Red Sea attacks have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa, and stoked fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spread to destabilise the wider Middle East.

On Monday, airstrikes attributed to a US-British coalition hit port cities and small towns in western Yemen, killing at least 11 people and injuring 14 while defending commercial shipping, a spokesperson for Yemen’s internationally recognised government told Reuters.

The United States and Britain have launched strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen and redesignated the militia as a terrorist group.

Read more:

US-British coalition airstrikes target Houthis, claiming 11 lives

Explosion reported near vessel off Yemen: Maritime security agency

US-led coalition shoots down 28 Houthi drones: CENTCOM

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