Yemen's Houthis say they targeted two vessels in the Red Sea

By Enas Alashray and Yomna Ehab

CAIRO (Reuters) -Yemen's Houthis on Friday said they targeted two vessels in the Red Sea with drones and missiles, but there was no independent confirmation of the purported attacks.

The group targeted the Elbella and AAL GENOA vessels with "a number of drones and ballistic and naval missiles", the Iran-aligned group's military spokesman Yahya Saree said in a televised speech.

Saree did not specify the date on which the strikes were carried out. Reuters did not receive any reports of incidents in the Red Sea on Friday.

Eastern Mediterranean Maritime, manager of the Malta-flagged Elbella container ship, declined comment. Reuters was not immediately able to reach the owner or manager for the Cyprus-flagged AAL Genoa general cargo vessel.

Separately, the U.S. Central Command said on Friday that Houthis launched in the past 24 hours four anti-ship ballistic missiles over the Red Sea, but there were no injuries or damage.

U.S. forces destroyed one drone launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen into the Bab al-Mandab Strait and also destroyed a Houthi patrol boat in the Red Sea, the U.S. military said in a post on X.

The Houthi militia, which controls the most populous parts of Yemen, has staged attacks on ships in the waters off the country since November in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The campaign has disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa, and stoked fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spread and destabilise the wider Middle East.

The United States and Britain have carried out strikes against Houthi targets in response to the attacks on shipping.

(Reporting by Enas Alashray and Yomna Ehab; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Deepa Babington)