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Press Release | Feb. 20, 2024

Feb. 19 and early morning Feb. 20 Red Sea Update


Feb. 20, 2024
Release Number 20240220 - 01

TAMPA, Fla. - On Feb 19, between 12:30 and 1:50 p.m., two anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) were launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward M/V Sea Champion, a Greek-flagged, U.S.-owned grain carrier in the Gulf of Aden. Minor damage and no injuries were reported. The ship continued toward its scheduled destination to deliver grain to Aden, Yemen.

A surface to air missile launcher was located and destroyed by U.S. CENTCOM forces in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen at approximately 5 p.m.

One additional anti-ship ballistic missile was launched at 6:40 p.m. but did not impact any commercial or coalition ships.

At 7:20 p.m., a one-way attack (OWA) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) struck the M/V Navis Fortuna, a Marshall Islands-flagged, U.S.-owned, bulk carrier causing minor damage and no injuries. The ship continued its voyage toward Italy.

At 8:15 p.m., U.S. CENTCOM forces destroyed a OWA UAV in Western Yemen prepared to launch at ships in the Red Sea.

Between 8 p.m. on Feb. 19 and 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 20, U.S. and coalition aircraft and warships shot down 10 OWA UAVs in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Additionally, at 12:30 a.m., Feb. 20, USS Laboon (DDG 58) identified one anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) headed in its direction. USS Laboon subsequently shot down the ASCM.

The OWA UAVs, the SAM system, and ASCM destroyed were identified by CENTCOM and determined they presented imminent threats to U.S. 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 U.S. Navy and merchant vessels.