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U.S. Navy Downs Drones After Houthis Strike Three Ships in the Red Sea

The Yemeni Houthis attacked three ships off the coast of the country yesterday, firing ballistic missiles at them. The group, which controls most of Yemen, also targeted a U.S. warship with drones, the AP reports.

“These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security,” the U.S. Central Command said in a statement. “They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world.”

“The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners,” the Central Command also said.

The drone attacks were stopped when the crew on the warship downed three drones. The Houthis took responsibility for two of the ballistic missile attacks, saying they were attacks on “two Israeli ships”. The U.S. Central Command said it had shot down at least three drones. Other drones, however, made it to their targets and damaged at least one of the vessels, CNN reported.

These latest events in the Middle East suggest further escalation in the region following the breakout of the war between Hamas and Israel. The Houthis, who are supported by Iran, started targeting vessels in the Red Sea last month.

They seized a cargo ship linked to an Israeli businessman, sparking speculation that more such attacks will follow against Israeli-owned vessels. Indeed, another attempt at a seizure did follow but despite initial reports blaming the Houthis for it, it turned out that the attackers were pirates, according to the Pentagon.

At the same time, however, the Sunday attack is the second time Houthi missiles have flown around U.S. vessels in the region. At the time of the pirate attack—which a U.S. warship thwarted—the Houthis were firing missiles in the general direction of the USS Mason although, according to the Pentagon again, the ship was not their target.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com


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