Aden, Dec 4 (IANS): Yemen's Houthi rebel group has claimed responsibility for attacking two "Israeli ships" off Yemen's Red Sea coast near the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
According to a statement released on Sunday by the group's military spokesman Yahya Sarea, the rebel forces carried out drone and naval missile attacks at two "Israeli ships" after both ships ignored warning messages from Houthi-controlled naval forces, Xinhua news agency reported.
He vowed that the Houthi forces would continue hampering Israeli ships from sailing in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea until Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip ceases.
Earlier on Sunday, a Yemeni coast guard official told Xinhua that a missile had struck a Bahamian-flagged commercial ship 34 nautical miles off the coast of Mocha, a Yemeni port city in the Red Sea while sailing in international waters near Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
The official confirmed the vessel sustained damage, but the extent was unknown.
The Houthis have previously threatened to target Israeli ships in the Red Sea in retaliation for the ongoing conflict in Gaza that erupted on October 7 between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas.
On November 19, the Houthis seized a vessel they claimed was an "Israeli ship" near Bab el-Mandeb, holding 52 sailors of different nationalities hostage.
The strikes on the commercial ship near the strategic maritime route of Bab el-Mandeb could potentially escalate tensions and threaten international shipping in the region.
Since the Yemeni civil war erupted in late 2014, the Houthi militia has taken control of much of Yemen's north, including the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.