In a recent incident in the Red Sea, a US warship, the USS Carney, successfully intercepted and shot down three drones after three commercial vessels came under attack.
The vessels, associated with 14 nations, including the UK, were targeted from areas in Yemen controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels. Two of the ships were hit by missiles, but fortunately, there were no casualties reported.
The USS Carney, part of the US Central Command (Centcom) overseeing Middle East operations, played a crucial role in assisting the attacked ships.
The Unity Explorer, a Bahamian-flagged, UK-owned cargo ship, experienced an anti-ship ballistic missile explosion, and the USS Carney promptly detected and shot down a drone heading towards it.
Later, the Unity Explorer sustained minor damage from a missile fired from the Houthi-controlled area, prompting the US warship to intercept and neutralize another incoming drone. Subsequently, two more ships, one of them UK-owned and both flagged in Panama, reported being struck by missiles.
While en route to assist the second ship, the USS Carney successfully shot down a third drone.
The Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks, asserting that their navy targeted two Israeli ships. However, the Israeli military denied any connection between the vessels and Israel, emphasizing that the Houthi statements were unfounded.
The Houthis, with Iranian backing, have held control over parts of Yemen since 2014, leading to a protracted civil war. The recent attacks in the Red Sea appear to be linked to the broader conflict involving Israel and Iranian-backed Hamas in Gaza.
The US Central Command stated that these attacks not only jeopardized the lives of multinational crews on the targeted ships but also posed a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security.
Centcom, in its official statement, expressed strong suspicions that the Houthi-launched attacks were fully enabled by Iran. The United States, in response, asserted its commitment to considering all appropriate measures in coordination with international allies and partners.
This incident follows another recent event where a US warship captured armed individuals who had seized an Israeli-linked tanker off Yemen’s coast. In response, rebel Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen fired two missiles toward the US warship.
The Houthi rebels have positioned themselves as part of an “axis of resistance,” aligned with Iran-affiliated groups in opposition to Israel, the United States, and the broader Western world.
Last Updated: 04 December 2023