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3 commercial ships hit by missiles in Houthi attack in Red Sea, US warship downs 3 drones

by Chloe Baker
5 comments
Houthi missile attacks

On Sunday, Yemen’s Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, launched ballistic missiles at three commercial vessels in the Red Sea. Concurrently, a U.S. warship neutralized three drones in a defensive action during the extensive attack. The U.S. military confirmed these incidents, noting the Houthis’ responsibility for two of the attacks.

This series of maritime aggressions, escalating tensions in the Middle East and linked to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, has seen several ships targeted in a single Houthi offensive for the first time in this dispute. The U.S. has expressed its intention to explore all viable responses, specifically pointing to Iran in the context of longstanding tensions over Iran’s advancing nuclear capabilities.

The U.S. military’s Central Command emphasized the severity of these attacks, highlighting their direct threat to international trade and maritime security. They stressed the endangerment of crew members from various countries and directly attributed the attacks to Iranian support.

Recent Developments:

  • This recent aggression represents a significant escalation in maritime attacks in the Middle East, correlating with the Israel-Hamas conflict.
  • The British military has reported an explosion off Yemen’s coast near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
  • Last week, a U.S. Navy warship near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait intercepted a drone launched from Yemen.
  • An Israeli billionaire’s container ship was previously targeted by a suspected Iranian drone in the Indian Ocean.

Israel-Hamas War Today:

  • In Gaza, Israel is conducting further evacuations near Khan Younis, Gaza’s second-largest city.
  • Gazans, constrained by the sealed-off territory bordering Israel and Egypt, are facing limited refuge options.

The attack started around 9:15 a.m. local time in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, as reported by Central Command.

The USS Carney, a Navy destroyer, detected a ballistic missile launched from Houthi-held areas in Yemen aimed at the Bahamas-flagged Unity Explorer. The missile exploded near the ship, causing minor damage. The Carney also intercepted several drones, though it remains unclear whether the destroyer was their intended target.

Additionally, two Panamanian-flagged carriers, the Number 9 and Sophie II, were hit by missiles, with the former sustaining some damage but no casualties, and the latter reporting minimal damage.

As the conflict escalates, the Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, has intercepted multiple rockets fired by the Houthis toward Israel amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. The destroyer has not sustained any damage, and no injuries have been reported on board.

Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree claimed responsibility for two of Sunday’s attacks. He warned that Israeli ships or those affiliated with Israel would be legitimate targets if they violated the Houthis’ directives.

Iran has not directly addressed these attacks, but Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has issued a broad warning about the regional implications of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The U.S. has refrained from confirming direct targeting of its Navy ships but acknowledges the interception of Houthi drones in self-defense. Israel has also not directly responded to these maritime threats.

The escalation in maritime conflict occurs amidst a broader regional crisis, with a truce in the Israel-Hamas war being briefly effective before collapsing amid renewed Israeli airstrikes and a ground offensive in Gaza.

In November, the Houthis seized a vehicle transport ship linked to Israel in the Red Sea off Yemen. The vessel remains under Houthi control near Hodeida. Another U.S. warship was targeted last week after assisting a temporarily seized Israel-linked vessel. Additionally, an Israeli billionaire’s container ship was attacked by a suspected Iranian drone in the Indian Ocean.

The Houthis’ direct targeting of American interests marks a significant escalation in the maritime conflict, harking back to 2016 when the U.S. retaliated against Houthi aggression towards U.S. Navy ships.

This report was contributed to by Tara Copp in Dallas, Lolita C. Baldor in Washington, and Dana Beltaji.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Houthi missile attacks

What happened in the recent Houthi attack in the Red Sea?

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, launched ballistic missiles at three commercial vessels in the Red Sea. Concurrently, a U.S. warship downed three drones in self-defense during the attack. This incident signifies an escalation in the series of maritime attacks in the Middle East, linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

How did the U.S. respond to the Houthi attack in the Red Sea?

The U.S. military’s Central Command highlighted the threat these attacks pose to international commerce and maritime security. The U.S. is considering all appropriate responses, particularly focusing on Iran due to the ongoing tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Were there any casualties or damage reported from the Houthi attack?

The USS Carney, a U.S. Navy destroyer, intercepted a ballistic missile near the Bahamas-flagged Unity Explorer, causing minor damage. Two Panamanian-flagged carriers, the Number 9 and Sophie II, were also struck, with the former reporting some damage but no casualties and the latter reporting no significant damage.

What is the significance of the Houthi attack in the context of the Israel-Hamas conflict?

This attack marks a major escalation in maritime hostilities in the Middle East and is directly linked to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. It represents the first time multiple vessels have been targeted in a single Houthi offensive within this conflict.

Has Iran responded to the allegations regarding its involvement in the attack?

Iran has not directly addressed these attacks. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian issued a broad warning about the potential regional implications of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, emphasizing the need to stop the violence.

More about Houthi missile attacks

  • Yemen’s Houthi Rebels
  • U.S. Military Response
  • Israel-Hamas Conflict
  • Iran’s Nuclear Program
  • Maritime Security Threats
  • USS Carney and Defense Actions
  • Regional Tensions in Middle East
  • International Maritime Commerce
  • Iran-U.S. Relations

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5 comments

MikeJohnson December 4, 2023 - 8:46 am

wow, this is really intense stuff happening there, can’t believe how things are escalating in the red sea, stay safe everyone!

Reply
PeaceLover December 4, 2023 - 3:41 pm

why can’t we just have peace for once, all this violence is just heartbreaking :(.

Reply
Sarah98 December 4, 2023 - 4:08 pm

so the US is getting more involved now?? this could get way more complicated, hope it doesn’t lead to bigger conflict..

Reply
GeoPoliticsNerd December 4, 2023 - 11:32 pm

Iranian involvement, not surprising but still concerning, the region’s like a tinderbox waiting to explode.

Reply
HistoryBuff December 5, 2023 - 1:19 am

Remember when the area was relatively calm? those days are long gone, thanks to all these power plays in the middle east.

Reply

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