Houthis nearly strike oil tanker in Gulf of Aden; US, coalition forces take out more one-way attack drones

Iranian-backed Houthis nearly struck an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden on Saturday, while Central Command forces took out two drones flying toward military vessels in the Red Sea.

Houthis nearly strike oil tanker in Gulf of Aden; US, coalition forces take out more one-way attack drones

U.S. Central Command said Sunday that Houthis launched an anti-ballistic missile toward a tanker ship that carries oil and chemicals in the Gulf of Aiden on Saturday, though it struck the water and did not cause damage to the ship or injuries to those on board.

In a post on X, U.S. Central Command said the Iranian-backed Houthis were likely targeting the M/V Torm Thor, which is flagged and owned by a U.S. company. The ship was sailing in the Gulf of Aden at the time of the incident, which was reportedly at 11:45 p.m. local time.

At about 9 p.m. that evening, U.S. Central Command forces shot down two one-way unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) over the Red Sea in self-defense.

Central Command said a third UAV was also heading toward the area and crashed from what appeared to be an in-flight failure.

"CENTCOM forces identified the UAVs and determined they presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and to the U.S. Navy ships in the region," Central Command said. "These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels."

Houthi attacks continue to take place in the region, despite efforts from the U.S. and allies to protect merchant ships.

On Thursday, Houthis fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles from southern Yemen into the Gulf of Aden, but that time, the missiles impacted the MV Islander, a Palau-flagged, U.K.-owned, cargo carrier causing one minor injury and damage.

The attack came after the Pentagon confirmed the Houthis shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone off the coast of Yemen on Monday, marking the second such attack since November 2023.

Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists also fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles at a Greek-flagged ship headed to Yemen to deliver grain on Monday, causing minor damage, according to U.S. Central Command.

Despite the minor damage on the U.S.-owned M/V Sea Champion, the ship continued on course to Aden in Yemen, where it ultimately delivered the grain for the benefit of the Yemeni people. 

Central Command said the M/V Sea Champion has delivered humanitarian aid to the country 11 times over the past five years. 

Fox News’ Greg Norman and Liz Friden contributed to this report.