Somalis, not Houthis, captured the tanker, says the US
Following Yemen’s government accusation against the Iran-backed Houthis for an attack on a ship in the Red Sea, the U.S. later announced that Somali pirates were the perpetrators. The incident, an attempted hijacking in the Gulf of Aden, echoed the Houthis’ threats against Israeli-linked vessels in the region. The Defense Department clarified that the assailants were likely Somali pirates, seizing a commercial ship. Despite a missile attack on the U.S. vessel USS Mason from Houthi-controlled territory, the Pentagon hesitated to definitively attribute the incident to the Houthis.
In response to a distress call from the attacked vessel, the U.S. Navy, including a guided-missile destroyer, intervened, successfully taking the attackers aboard the USS Mason and ensuring the safety of the Central Park and its crew. The Southern Transitional Council in Yemen promptly implicated the Houthis in the attack, linking it strongly to Iran and characterizing it as part of a pattern of aggression.
Houthis a force to reckon
Despite the U.S. removing the Houthis from the list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2021 to facilitate humanitarian aid to Yemen, recent Red Sea attacks and missile launches toward Israel have reignited calls for reconsideration. While the U.S. suggested that the attackers on an Israel-linked cargo ship were likely Somali pirates, the possibility of a Houthi connection has not been ruled out, according to Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder.
The Houthis, having consolidated control in northern Yemen, remain a potent force, particularly amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza. The situation underscores the complex dynamics in the region, involving proxy groups, geopolitical tensions, and the challenging balance between humanitarian concerns and security considerations.
Certain militant groups in middle east have got the momentum and are continuously engaging in attacks with American and Israeli defense system. The claim of these groups is to restore peace and pressurize Israel to stop its bombardment in Gaza.