Pentagon Confirms US Warship, Commercial Ships Under Attack In Red Sea

December 4, 2023 in News by RBN Staff

source:  zerohedge

SUNDAY, DEC 03, 2023 – 08:45 PM

Update (1800ET):

US Central Command provided a detailed summary of the four maritime attacks carried out by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, targeting commercial vessels on Sunday:

Today, there were four attacks against three separate commercial vessels operating in international waters in the southern Red Sea. These three vessels are connected to 14 separate nations. The Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer USS CARNEY responded to the distress calls from the ships and provided assistance.

At approximately 9:15 a.m. Sanaa time, the CARNEY detected an anti-ship ballistic missile attack fired from Houthi controlled areas of Yemen toward the M/V UNITY EXPLORER, impacting in the vicinity of the vessel. UNITY EXPLORER is a Bahamas flagged, U.K. owned and operated, bulk cargo ship crewed by sailors from two nations. The CARNEY was conducting a patrol in the Red Sea and detected the attack on the UNITY EXPLORER.

At approximately 12 p.m., and while in international waters, CARNEY engaged and shot down a UAV launched from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen. The drone was headed toward CARNEY although its specific target is not clear. We cannot assess at this time whether the Carney was a target of the UAVs. There was no damage to the U.S. vessel or injuries to personnel.

In a separate attack at approximately 12:35 p.m., UNITY EXPLORER reported they were struck by a missile fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen. CARNEY responded to the distress call. While assisting with the damage assessment, CARNEY detected another inbound UAV, destroying the drone with no damage or injuries on the CARNEY or UNITY EXPLORER. UNITY EXPLORER reports minor damage from the missile strike.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. the M/V NUMBER 9 was struck by a missile fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen while operating international shipping lanes in the Red Sea. The Panamanian flagged, Bermuda and U.K. owned and operated, bulk carrier reported damage and no casualties.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., the M/V SOPHIE II, sent a distress call stating they were struck by a missile. CARNEY again responded to the distress call and reported no significant damage. While en route to render support, CARNEY shot down a UAV headed in its direction. SOPHIE II is a Panamanian flagged bulk carrier, crewed by sailors from eight countries.

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. The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners.

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Update (1409ET):

A reporter from the Israeli public broadcasting corporation shared on X that a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces reported a UK commercial ship was targeted in the Houthi attack.

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Update (1305ET):

CNN’s Pentagon reporter Haley Britzky reports that the US Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Carney shot down two drones belonging to Yemen’s Iran-supported Houthi rebels.

The destroy then received a “distress call from the civilian commercial vessel M/V Unity Explorer, after the Carney saw at least one ballistic missile fired at the Unity Explorer & land in its vicinity.”

According to Bloomberg data, Unity Explorer is a bulk carrier and recently transited the Suez Canal. The ship’s last known position was last Tuesday, in the middle part of the Red Sea.

Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack.

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In a significant development, AP News has reported that a US Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and two commercial vessels were targeted in the Red Sea. This incident is part of a growing trend of maritime attacks in the waters of the Middle East, which have been linked to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“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,” the Pentagon said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a US official told AP that the attack was around Sanaa, Yemen, and said Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, repelled at least one drone during the attack.

Despite no confirmation from the Pentagon on who exactly were the attackers, one might suspect Yemen’s Iran-supported Houthi rebels, who have frequently attacked ships in the Red Sea, could be responsible. The terror group has also launched drones and missiles at Israel.

Let’s remember the Red Sea is one of the world’s most heavily traveled commercial shipping lanes.

Meanwhile, “Gulf of Tonkin” is trending on X in the US.

The latest data from intelligence firm Stratfor shows two US aircraft carriers are in the region:

  • CVN 69: The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is underway in the Persian Gulf. 
  • CVN 78: The USS Gerald R. Ford is underway in the Mediterranean Sea. 

With an amphibious group in the Red Sea

  • LHD 5: The USS Bataan is underway.

This comes weeks after the “Galaxy Leader,” a vehicle carrier vessel, was hijacked in the Red Sea.