US Forces Shoot Down Missile Allegedly Fired at Maersk Vessel

Maersk container ship at sea
Updated Published

US forces intercepted and destroyed an anti-ship ballistic missile (ABSM) launched by Houthi rebels, aimed at the Maersk vessel in the Gulf of Aden.

The missile was directed at the 2,500 TEU, US-flagged Maersk Yorktown, which was navigating the waters between Oman and Djibouti under the escort of the US Navy at the time.

The incident occurred at 3 am Yemen time on April 9th, according to US Central Command. 

Their statement said, "The ASBM was likely targeting the MV Maersk Yorktown, a US-flagged, US-owned vessel being escorted by US warships USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Mason (DDG 87). There were no injuries or damage reported by US, coalition, or commercial ships.”

Although Maersk Line acknowledged the event, they expressed uncertainty over whether the Houthis specifically targeted the Maersk Yorktown. 

In a statement to Container News, Maersk Line said, "Maersk has received reports on a Houthi missile landing approximately 10 nautical miles from Maersk Yorktown (a US-flagged vessel operated by Maersk Line, Limited) on 9th April at early morning hours, Sanaa time, while the vessel was transiting in the Gulf of Aden. There was no indication that the Maersk Yorktown was the intended target. The vessel was under protection of coalition forces and proceeded along its route without interruption."

The recent activity marks a resurgence of the Iran-supported Houthis, who after a brief period of inactivity, have threatened to expand the conflict zone, pledging to target ships they believe are in support of Israel. This comes after the Houthis launched attacks against two MSC vessels and a container ship owned by Borealis Maritime on April 6th.