Houthi Rebels Attack Commercial Ships and U.S. Warship
In a significant escalation of maritime conflict in the Mideast, commercial ships and a U.S. warship stationed in the Red Sea came under attack today (Sunday 12/3/2023). The assault, involving drones and missiles, was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, marking a new phase in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
The USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, engaged in self-defense, successfully downing multiple rockets. This response followed an SOS from the Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier Unity Explorer, which reported being under missile attack. The U.S. warship’s quick action neutralized two drones, one in direct defense and the other while aiding the commercial vessel.
🚨 BREAKING: The Pentagon says a US warship and multiple commercial ships have come under attack in the Red Sea— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) December 3, 2023
While the Carney remained unscathed with no reported injuries, the status of Unity Explorer is still under assessment. The British military confirmed a suspected drone attack and explosions in the region but provided no further details.
The U.S. Defense Department refrained from specifying the attack’s origin, but Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree took responsibility. He stated that the first vessel was hit by a missile and the second by a drone in the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The Houthi’s aim, according to Saree, is to hinder Israeli navigation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden until Israel ceases its operations in Gaza.
Saree identified the targeted vessels as the Unity Explorer, linked to a British firm with Israeli connections, and a Panamanian-flagged container ship, Number 9, managed by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement.
The incident underlines a worrying trend of increasing attacks on global shipping in the region, correlating with the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict. Earlier, a truce had momentarily eased tensions, but its collapse led to a resumption of Israeli airstrikes and ground offenses, heightening the risk of maritime attacks.
In a related incident, the Houthis had previously captured a vehicle transport ship associated with Israel, still detained near Hodeida. This recent attack, targeting American forces, intensifies the maritime conflict, recalling the U.S.’s retaliation in 2016 against Houthi-controlled radar sites following attacks on U.S. Navy ships.
As the situation unfolds, the international community remains watchful, concerned about the potential broadening of this regional conflict into a more extensive maritime crisis.
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