An American warship and numerous commercial vessels came under fire in the Red Sea on Sunday, prompting the warship to open fire in self-defense.
The Associated Press (AP) first reported news of the assault Sunday, saying that the attack was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. This marks another incident of escalation in the Middle East connected to the Israel-Hamas war, which is approaching two months of fighting.
“We’re aware of reports regarding attacks on the USS Carney and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and will provide information as it becomes available,” a Defense Department official said in a statement to The Hill.
According to the U.S. Central Command, the USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, opened fire in self-defense Sunday in the attack that lasted hours. The Carney responded after a Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier said it was under missile fire. The Carney shot down two drones during the attack, CENTCOM said in a post online.
CENTCOM said at this time it cannot determine if the Carney was a target for the drone.
There was no damage to the Carney or injuries to personnel. The Unity Explorer reported minor damage from the missile strike, CENTCOM said in a post.
“These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security,” CENTCOM said. “They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world.”
CENTCOM said it has reason to believe the attacks were “fully enabled by Iran.”
“The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners,” the post said.
The AP said that Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree claimed the attacks but did not mention a U.S. warship being involved in the attack.
“The Yemeni armed forces continue to prevent Israeli ships from navigating the Red Sea (and Gulf of Aden) until the Israeli aggression against our steadfast brothers in the Gaza Strip stops,” Saree said, according to the AP. “The Yemeni armed forces renew their warning to all Israeli ships or those associated with Israelis that they will become a legitimate target if they violate what is stated in this statement.”
This is not the first time U.S. warships have shot down drones in the Red Sea in recent months since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. The USS Carney shot down an Iranian-made drone launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen last week, which came after the U.S. military warned Iran over an “unsafe and unprofessional” drone maneuver near the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group the previous day.
It also comes after the USS Thomas Hudner, also a Navy destroyer, shot down multiple one-way attack drones in the Red Sea.
The U.S. military has increased the number of Navy ships stationed in the Middle East since Oct. 7 as tensions have risen in the Middle East.
Updated at 6:40 pm.
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Source: The Hill
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