SANAA, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) - The U.S.-British maritime coalition launched strikes on Yemen's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah early Thursday, Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported.

The strikes targeted the Al-Jabanah area north of the coastal city of Hodeidah in the west of the country, said the report, without giving further details.

The assaults came a few hours after the coalition struck a Houthi surface-to-air missile in Saada city late Wednesday in the north of the country, said the U.S. Central Command in a statement.

The Houthis announced that they launched a missile attack on a U.S. commercial vessel "Kol" in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday night and directly hit it.

The Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea declared all U.S. and British commercial vessels and warships as "legitimate targets" for the Houthi forces until the coalition stops attacking the Houthi sites, vowing to "confront escalation with escalation" in a TV statement on Wednesday night.

He also pledged continued attacks on Israel-linked ships in the Red Sea until Israel stops its war against and siege of the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip.

The U.S.-British maritime coalition stationing in the Red Sea has said their strikes on Houthi military sites aim to degrade the Houthi military capabilities and deter them from launching further attacks on commercial ships and disrupting shipping in the Red Sea.

The Houthi group controls much of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, and the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah since the Yemeni civil war erupted in late 2014.

Last month, the United States re-designated the Houthi group as a "global terrorist organization."

Photo from Reuters