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Saturday, May 25, 2024

3 Houthi boats destroyed by US Navy

Helicopters from the USS Eisenhower and USS Gravely, along with the ship's security team, responded to a distress call, effectively repelling the attackers.

3 Houthi boats destroyed by US Navy

U.S. helicopters successfully fended off an attack by Houthi militants, backed by Iran, on a Maersk container vessel in the Red Sea. The incident resulted in the sinking of three Houthi ships and the death of 10 militants. According to accounts from American, Maersk, and Houthi officials on Sunday, the naval clash took place around 0330 GMT as the militants attempted to board the Singapore-flagged Maersk Hangzhou. Helicopters from the USS Eisenhower and USS Gravely, along with the ship’s security team, responded to a distress call, effectively repelling the attackers.

In response to the attack, Maersk announced a 48-hour pause in all sailing through the Red Sea. The Houthis claimed responsibility for the assault, stating that it occurred because the ship’s crew ignored warning calls. A Houthi spokesman reported that 10 Houthi naval personnel were “dead and missing” following the U.S. forces’ response in the Red Sea.

Increase in confrontations 

This naval confrontation highlights the potential for regional escalation amid Israel’s ongoing bombing campaign. The campaign follows a surprise cross-border attack by Hamas on Israeli towns in October, resulting in significant casualties. Yemen’s Houthis, expressing support for Hamas, have targeted vessels in the Red Sea since November, prompting shipping companies to opt for the longer and costlier route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope instead of using the Suez Canal.

The Red Sea, a crucial entry point for ships using the Suez Canal, handles approximately 12% of global trade, facilitating the movement of goods between Asia and Europe. In response to escalating tensions, the United States initiated Operation Prosperity Guardian on December 19, with over 20 countries participating in efforts to safeguard ships in the Red Sea near Yemen.

More to read: Pakistan Bans New Year Celebrations in Solidarity with Palestinians

While the U.S. has not disclosed specific options, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby emphasized the seriousness with which the threats from the Houthis are being taken. The Houthis have been conducting numerous attacks on ships in the Red Sea since November, employing over 100 drone and missile attacks on vessels navigating through this vital shipping lane.