Yemen's Houthis say they launched attack on US aircraft carrier Eisenhower in Red Sea

DUBAI (Reuters) -Yemen's Houthis launched a missile attack in the direction of the U.S. aircraft carrier Eisenhower in the Red Sea in response to U.S. and British strikes on Yemen, the Iranian-backed group's military spokesperson Yahya Saree said on Friday.

A U.S. defense official told Reuters they were not aware of any attack on the Eisenhower.

Six U.S. and British strikes have killed 16 people and wounded 41, including civilians, Saree said in a televised statement.

Strikes on the province of Hodeidah targeted the port of Salif, a radio building in Al-Hawk district, Ghalifa camp and two houses, Saree said.

The U.S. and British militaries said they launched strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen on Thursday to deter the militant group from further disrupting shipping in the Red Sea.

The U.S. Central Command said U.S. and British forces had hit 13 targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

The British defence ministry said the joint operation targeted three locations in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, which it said housed drones and surface-to-air weapons.

"As ever, the utmost care was taken in planning the strikes to minimise any risk to civilians or non-military infrastructure," the British defence ministry said.

"Conducting the strikes in the hours of darkness should also have mitigated yet further any such risks."

Houthi spokesperson Mohamed Abdelsalam said the strikes were a "brutal aggression" against Yemen as punishment for its support of Gaza.

Iran condemned the strikes as "violations of Yemen's sovereignty and territorial integrity..., international laws and human rights", Iranian state media reported.

"The aggressor U.S. and British governments are responsible for the consequences of these crimes against the Yemeni people," Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said.

The Houthis, who control Yemen's capital and most populous areas, have attacked international shipping in the Red Sea region since November in solidarity with the Palestinians in the war between Israel and Hamas, drawing retaliatory U.S. and British strikes since February.

(Reporting by Clauda Tanios and Nayera Abdallah; Additional reporting by Alexander Cornwell, editing by Giles Elgood)