In a televised speech, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea announced that their forces targeted the Yannis ship in the Red Sea, the Essex in the Mediterranean Sea, and the MSC Alexandra in the Arabian Sea. He mentioned that missiles were fired at the Essex in the Mediterranean while it was allegedly violating a ban on entering occupied Palestinian ports. However, no details on the timing of these attacks were provided.

Contradicting the Houthis' claims, the U.S. Central Command reported that two anti-ship ballistic missiles were launched into the Red Sea on May 23, but no injuries or damage occurred.

The Essex LPG tanker, flagged by Liberia, was anchored off Egypt's Alexandria port on Friday, according to shipping data. Managed by Zodiac Maritime, a company controlled by Israeli magnate Eyal Ofer, a spokesperson confirmed that the vessel was safe in Egyptian waters with no signs of any attack.

British maritime security company Ambrey also supported this, noting that the Essex had been trading between Alexandria and Port Said and had not visited any Israeli ports recently. They mentioned that the vessel remained within 15 nautical miles offshore from Egypt over the prior week and had not been hit.

A recent security advisory from the Marshall Islands, a global ship registry, indicated that while Houthi missiles and drones could technically reach the eastern Mediterranean from Yemen, local military forces have adequate defenses to counter such threats.

Earlier this month, Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi threatened to target all ships heading to Israeli ports, not just those in the Red Sea region. Since November, the Houthis have launched multiple drone and missile strikes on vessels in crucial shipping channels, including the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab strait, and the Gulf of Aden, to demonstrate their support for Palestinians.

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These attacks have forced shipping companies to reroute cargo via longer and more costly journeys around southern Africa, raising concerns that the Israel-Hamas conflict might spread and further destabilize the Middle East.

Editor: Kemal Can Kayar