FACT CHECK: Houthi Rebels Claim To Hit U.S. Warship In Red Sea

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

Houthi rebels claimed that they hit a U.S. warship in the Red Sea on Jan. 24.

Verdict: Misleading

The Houthis did not provide evidence for their claim. Defense officials and the Pentagon said that the claims were not true or lacked veracity.

Fact Check:

The Houthi rebels, a designated terrorist group, fired missiles at a U.S-owned commercial vessel, with CENTCOM reporting that two missiles were intercepted, according to Fox News.

The Houthis spokesman made a televised statement in which he claimed that the group clashed with U.S. warships for two hours and struck a U.S. warship.

“A clash occurred today between a number of American destroyers and warships in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab while they were protecting two American commercial ships. The result of the clash was as follows: -A direct hit on an American vessel,” the spokesman said.

However, there is no evidence for this claim. CENTCOM did not release any statements indicating that a U.S. warship had been struck. While some media outlets covered the Houthi claims, the group did not provide any visual evidence of them hitting a U.S. warship.

U.S. officials also denied claims that the Houthis had struck a U.S. warship. (RELATED: No, Image Does Not Show Iranian Missile Strike On Pakistan)

One defense official told Check Your Fact that they “have no information to support these claims.” Another defense official said to Check Your Fact that the Houthi claim was “not true.”

U.S. defense officials also told Fox News Pentagon producer Liz Friden that the claim was not true.

“FACT CHECK: Reports the Houthi’s successfully hit a U.S. Navy ship are not true, U.S. defense officials tell Fox News. ‘We’ve received no reports of attacks on U.S. warships,’ one of the officials said, adding this is something they would have immediately been notified of,” Friden tweeted.

A Pentagon spokesperson told Check Your Fact in an email that “those reports are false.” Check Your Fact tagged the Houthi spokesman in a tweet, asking him to respond to U.S. officials denying the group’s claim.

A U.S. official also told Reuters that “No U.S. warships or commercial vessels were struck by Houthi missiles today.” CENTCOM said on Jan. 26 that the USS Carney shot down a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile that targeted the American warship.

As there is a lack of evidence and U.S. sources have denied the claim, Check Your Fact has rated this claim as misleading unless more information becomes available.

Update 1/26/2024: This article was updated with more information and that another defense official denied the Houthi rebels claim. 

Note: This rating is based on developing information. We will update this article if more information is provided, which may result in a change of rating. 

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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