The Houthi movement has claimed an attack targetting an MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company-controlled bulker amid an active week for the Iranian-backed militia’s assault on vessel traffic.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said the militia carried out a “targeting operation” against the “MSC Silver” in the Gulf of Aden with naval missiles, according to a machine translation of a statement. His comments were posted on the account of Houthi spokesman Ameen Hayyan on X, formerly Twitter.

Satellite tracking data from VesselsValue shows MSC’s 37,500-dwt bulker MSC Silver II (built 2002) is in the Gulf of Aden, moored at the Somali port of Berbera.

MSC, the Swiss shipping giant, did not immediately respond to TradeWinds’ request for confirmation of the attack.

Saree described the MSC Silver II as an “Israeli” vessel, although shipping databases show no apparent link to the country. Operated by MSC, the ship is owned by Silverfjord Oceanway, whose address is listed at the Swiss giant’s MSC Shipmanagement office in Cyprus, according to the Equasis database.

The ship has not called at an Israeli port since 2020, tracking data shows.

But maritime security firm Ambrey Analytics pointed out that MSC has been cooperating with Zim, an Israeli container ship operator, and its ships have regularly called at the country’s ports.

Zim announced a cooperation agreement with MSC on a number of trades in September.

Tracking data shows the handysize bulker left the Sri Lankan port of Colombo laden with an unknown cargo on 12 February, VesselsValue data shows.

The ship stopped broadcasting its location in the Indian Ocean about two days later.

It is not clear whether the incident took place on Tuesday, or whether it is one of several attacks on shipping carried out on Monday.

On Monday, the Houthis launched a barrage of attacks that targeted several vessels, a day after another strike caused the crew of the 32,200-dwt Rubymar (built 1997) to abandon ship.

In one of those incidents already reported by TradeWinds, the target of the attack was not identified.

UK Maritime Trade Operations said that a vessel was hit by a kamikaze drone about 60 nautical miles (110 kilometres) north of Djibouti in the Bab el-Mandeb strait.

The vessel suffered superficial damage and continued to its next port of call. All crew were safe.

On Tuesday, US Central Command said its forces destroyed a surface-to-air missile launcher in the Houthi-controlled territory of Yemen a day earlier.

And the command, which coordinates American armed forces in the region from its headquarters in Bahrain, said US and coalition aircraft and ships shot down 11 drones on Monday night.

The warship USS LAboon also shot down a ballistic missile fired in its direction.

“They presented imminent threats to US Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region. These actions will protect navigational rights and freedoms and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels,” Central Command said on X.