Nancy Youssef of The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen are claiming responsibility for attacks in the Red Sea, pointing to the Israeli-Gaza war as their reasoning. The Pentagon warns of a possible response. She writes:
A U.S. destroyer and three commercial ships operating in the Red Sea came under drone and ballistic-missile attacks, the Pentagon said Sunday, marking the most significant escalation of a weekslong military attack on ships operating in those waters.
In two instances on Sunday, the USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, came under attack, including while responding to distress calls from nearby commercial ships that faced missile attacks, the Pentagon said. The Carney also shot down a drone that flew nearby.
Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attacks, and the Pentagon warned Sunday that they could be met with a U.S. response—and pointed part of the blame at Iran.
“These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security. They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world. We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran,” U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for U.S. military operations in the Middle East said in a written statement. “The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners.”
The attacks began around 9:15 a.m. local time, when the Carney saw a ballistic missile attack the M/V Unity Explorer, a Bahamas-flagged bulk cargo ship. Around noon, the Carney struck a drone that was headed toward the destroyer, “although its specific target is not clear,” according to the statement. The U.S. vessel wasn’t damaged, CENTCOM said.
Roughly 30 minutes later, the Unity Explorer came under a second ballistic-missile attack near the ship. In that instance, the commercial ship was struck and damaged and sent a distress call, leading the Carney to move toward the ship in response, CENTCOM said. […]
The Carney has come under a number of attacks since it began operating in the Red Sea, shortly after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, as have other U.S. naval vessels. Last week, the Carney, operating in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, shot down an Iranian-made drone launched from Yemen. And an Iranian-made drone flew near a U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, as it operated in the area.
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