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Houthi militants fire ballistic missiles at civilian vessel Pinocchio.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the CENTCOM on March 11, 2024, two anti-ship ballistic missiles were launched by Houthi forces from areas under their control in Yemen towards the Red Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Sailors stand guard at the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Maritime Operations Center in Manama, Bahrain. (Picture source: US DoD)

The target of these missiles was the Pinocchio, a merchant vessel which is owned by Singapore and flies the Liberian flag. Despite the attacks, the missiles did not hit the vessel, and there were no reports of injuries or damage.

Following these missile launches, the United States Central Command conducted a series of defensive operations in the region. These operations included six strikes aimed at neutralizing perceived threats. The strikes led to the destruction of an unmanned underwater vehicle and 18 anti-ship missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.


The Red Sea crisis, sparked on October 19, 2023, by the Houthi movement's missile and drone attacks against Israel, quickly escalated to a maritime conflict. The Houthis, supported by Iran, targeted both military and commercial vessels in the Red Sea, especially around the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb strait, a crucial chokepoint for global trade leading directly to the Suez Canal.

This move by the Houthis to declare ships linked to Israel as targets has significantly disrupted one of the world's most vital shipping lanes, highlighting the fragile security situation in key maritime corridors.

This crisis is part of a broader regional conflict that includes the Israel-Hamas war and the Iran-Israel proxy conflict, adding layers of complexity to the situation. The international response, led by the United States and the United Kingdom, has involved military operations aimed at securing the Red Sea routes and countering the Houthi threat.

The disruption has broader implications for international trade, particularly for nations dependent on these routes for the import and export of goods. The increased risk has led to higher shipping costs and longer transit times, as vessels are forced to reroute to avoid the area.

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