Middle East crisis live: Houthi missile launched at USS Laboon shot down in Red Sea, says US military | Israel-Gaza war

Houthi missile fired at American destroyer shot down, says US

US fighter aircraft shot down an anti-ship cruise missile fired from Houthi militant areas of Yemen toward a US destroyer operating in the southern Red Sea, the US military said on Sunday.

The midair interception is the latest incident in the Red Sea where the Houthis have been attacking international shipping in what they say is a campaign to support Palestinians under siege from Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, Reuters reports.

It follows a series of American and British airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen that have drawn threats of a “strong” response from the Iran-backed militia, adding to anxieties over a wider conflict in the Middle East beyond Gaza.

The USS Laboon in the Red Sea last month
The USS Laboon in the Red Sea last month. Photograph: Elexia Morelos/US defence department/AFP/Getty Images

There were no injuries or damage reported in the latest incident, according to the US Central Command (Centcom), which released the news in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).

Centcom said the missile was shot down near Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah.

Earlier on Sunday, the Houthis complained that US aircraft were observed flying close to Yemeni airspace and coastal areas.

Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam described the activity by “enemy” aircraft as a blatant violation of national sovereignty.

Reuters could not immediately determine whether the incidents were one and the same. Centcom did not immediately respond to a request for further details about the interception.

Updated at 

Key events

An Israeli footballer who displayed a message referring to the Israel-Gaza war during a match in Turkey has been arrested, according to reports in Turkish media.

After scoring a goal for his team against Trabsonspor, Sagiv Jehezkel revealed a message that read “100 days. 07/10” on a bandage on his left wrist.

Earlier on Sunday, the country’s justice minister announced an investigation into Jehezkel over the incident for suspected “incitement to hate”, after his club, Antalyaspor, sacked him over the matter.

Israeli footballer Sagiv Jehezkel
Israeli footballer Sagiv Jehezkel Photograph: Antalyaspor:X

The Turkish justice minister, Yilmaz Tunc, said in a post online:

The Antalya public prosecutor’s office has opened a judicial investigation against Israeli footballer Sagiv Jehezkel for public incitement to hate due to his odious celebration in favour of the massacre committed by Israel in Gaza.

The full story is here:

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has posted on social media that “100 days of captivity in Gaza is far too long” and the US “will not rest” until all hostages were freed.

Israelis marked 100 days of war with a 100-minute pause in the working day and rallies to call for the return of hostages held in Gaza, but little relief from the anxiety that has gripped the country since Hamas launched its 7 October attacks, as Jason Burke in Jerusalem reported earlier.

Blinken said on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday:

100 days of captivity in Gaza is far too long. The United States will not rest until all remaining hostages, including six Americans, are reunited with their loved ones.

100 days of captivity in Gaza is far too long. The United States will not rest until all remaining hostages, including six Americans, are reunited with their loved ones.

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 15, 2024

Blinken’s post drew an angry response from the Palestinian mission to the United Nations, which tweeted:

100 days and not a single mention of the nearly 24,000 killed – 1/2 of which are children. Shame on those who remain complicit and not call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Updated at 

Australian minister urges ‘sustainable ceasefire’ ahead of Middle East trip

Australia’s foreign minister called for a “sustainable ceasefire” in Gaza as she left on Monday for a Middle East tour that includes a visit to the occupied West Bank and meetings with the families of Israeli hostages.

Penny Wong said she would use the visits to Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and the United Arab Emirates to advocate for a pathway out of the current conflict and a lasting peace in the form of a two-state solution, Reuters reports.

Australia would also use its voice to push for more humanitarian assistance, greater protection of civilians and a de-escalation of regional tensions, she added.

Penny Wong
Middle East tour: Penny Wong. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

She told a news conference before her departure:

Our position is that we want to see a sustainable ceasefire and that we see an international humanitarian, immediate humanitarian ceasefire as a step towards that.

No ceasefire can be one sided and no ceasefire can be unconditional.

Australia backed a UN resolution for a Gaza ceasefire in December in a rare split with its ally the US.

Wong said in a statement that Australia supported Israel’s right to defend itself in response to “terrorism” but “the way it does so matters”. She also called for the unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas.

Updated at 

Houthi missile fired at American destroyer shot down, says US

US fighter aircraft shot down an anti-ship cruise missile fired from Houthi militant areas of Yemen toward a US destroyer operating in the southern Red Sea, the US military said on Sunday.

The midair interception is the latest incident in the Red Sea where the Houthis have been attacking international shipping in what they say is a campaign to support Palestinians under siege from Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, Reuters reports.

It follows a series of American and British airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen that have drawn threats of a “strong” response from the Iran-backed militia, adding to anxieties over a wider conflict in the Middle East beyond Gaza.

The USS Laboon in the Red Sea last month
The USS Laboon in the Red Sea last month. Photograph: Elexia Morelos/US defence department/AFP/Getty Images

There were no injuries or damage reported in the latest incident, according to the US Central Command (Centcom), which released the news in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).

Centcom said the missile was shot down near Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah.

Earlier on Sunday, the Houthis complained that US aircraft were observed flying close to Yemeni airspace and coastal areas.

Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam described the activity by “enemy” aircraft as a blatant violation of national sovereignty.

Reuters could not immediately determine whether the incidents were one and the same. Centcom did not immediately respond to a request for further details about the interception.

Updated at 

The missile fired from Yemen towards the destroyer USS Laboon in the Red Sea was downed by US fighter aircraft “in vicinity of the coast of Hudaydah”, US Central Command (Cencom) says.

The port city of Hudaydah, in Yemen’s west, is the country’s fourth-largest city.

Cencom said on X (formerly Twitter) that the anti-ship cruise missile was fired from an area controlled by the Iran-backed Houthis around 4.45pm local time on Sunday.

On Jan. 14 at approximately 4:45 p.m. (Sanaa time), an anti-ship cruise missile was fired from Iranian-backed Houthi militant areas of Yemen toward USS Laboon (DDG 58), which was operating in the Southern Red Sea. The missile was shot down in vicinity of the coast of Hudaydah by… pic.twitter.com/jftZHQhA2e

— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 15, 2024

Updated at 

A few hours before the breaking news of the US saying it has shot down a Houthi missile fired towards a US destroyer in the Red Sea, Dan Sabbagh reported on the latest concerns around the vital trade route:

Tensions remained high in the Middle East on Sunday as western leaders, the Houthis and their allies all warned of possible further action in the aftermath of Friday’s US-UK bombing of rebel-held areas in Yemen.

As initial briefings from the US suggested that only about a quarter of the Houthis’ missile and drone attack capability had been destroyed, reports emerged of two boats trying to threaten a merchant ship in the southern Red Sea.

A Houthi supporter said on Sunday that the group’s attacks on merchant shipping travelling the busy waterway south of the Suez Canal would continue “because they are at war with Israel”.

Hussain al-Bukhaiti said that if the US and UK continued to bomb Yemen, Houthi forces would attack western warships “maybe using hundreds of drones and missiles”, which would represent a significant escalation.

Not all the ships targeted since the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October have had Israeli links.

See the full report here:

Updated at 

Opening summary

Welcome to our live coverage of the Middle East crisis – I’m Adam Fulton and here’s the latest news.

A US fighter aircraft shot down an anti-ship cruise missile that was fired from Iran-backed Houthi militant areas of Yemen towards the USS Laboon in the southern Red Sea, the US Central Command said on Sunday.

There were no injuries or damage reported, it said.

More on that soon. In other key developments:

  • Three gunmen who crossed into Israel from Lebanon and two Israelis were killed in clashes and a strike along the frontier between the two countries on Sunday, the army and medics said. Five soldiers were wounded in the firefight with the gunmen, the Israeli military said. Earlier, an Israeli man was pronounced dead and a woman, who the local municipality said was his mother, died later after a missile strike in the Israeli border community of Kfar Yuval that reportedly wounded multiple Israelis.

  • A total of 23,968 Palestinians have been killed and another 60,582 injured by Israeli strikes on Gaza since 7 October, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said on Sunday. In the past 24 hours, 125 Palestinians were killed and 265 were injured, the ministry added.

A neighbour sits near the rubble of the Abu Aweidah family’s home, destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza
A neighbour sits near the rubble of the Abu Aweidah family’s home, destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza. The writing on a wall reads: ‘Children remaining under the rubble, Oman, Abdullah and Massa.’ Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters
  • Arab-Israeli legislator Ahmad Tibi said on social media that three of his relatives, including a 10-year-old boy, had been killed in a strike on Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

  • Hamas has aired video footage showing three Israeli hostages it is holding in Gaza in which they urged Israel’s government to stop its offensive against the militant group and bring about their release, as both sides marked the 100th day of the war. The undated 37-second video of the three captives – aged 26, 53 and 38 – aired on Sunday ended with the chyron: “Tomorrow we will inform you of their fate.”

  • Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Israel had “failed” in Gaza and would be forced to negotiate. He made the remarks in a televised address on Sunday.

  • Bangladesh has voiced its support for South Africa in its genocide case against Israel at the international court of justice. Bangladesh “welcomes the opportunity to file a declaration of intervention in the proceedings in due course”, its ministry of foreign affairs said. Namibia, meanwhile, rejected what it called Germany’s support of the “genocidal intent of the racist Israeli state against innocent civilians in Gaza”. The Namibian presidency pointed to Germany’s “inability to draw lessons from its horrific history”, citing the 20th century’s first genocide – the Herero-Namaqua genocide perpetrated by German forces on Namibian soil from 1904-08.

  • The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has called the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by Israeli attacks across the strip, which have displacing nearly 2 million Palestinians, one of the world’s “most complex and challenging” operations. In a tweet on Sunday following 100 days of Israel’s war on Gaza, the UNRWA said: “The massive destruction, displacement, hunger and loss of last 100 days are staining our shared humanity.”

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners have visited al-Aqsa hospital in central Gaza and Nasser medical complex in Khan Younis, southern Gaza. WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said on X (formerly Twitter) that both hospitals require “sustained support and protection to remain operational” and that they were “vital lifelines for patients and thousands of displaced people in Gaza”.

  • The Palestine Red Crescent Society has set up shelter tents for 315 displaced Palestinian families in the Mawasi Rafah area near the Egyptian border.

  • An Israeli footballer who displayed a message referring to the Israel-Gaza war during a match in Turkey has been arrested, according to reports in Turkish media. Earlier on Sunday, the country’s justice minister announced an investigation into Sagiv Jehezkel over the incident for suspected “incitement to hate”, after his club, Antalyaspor, sacked him over the matter. Jehezkel scored a goal for his team and then displayed a message reading “100 days. 07/10” on a bandage on his wrist.

Updated at 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *