In a significant escalation of maritime aggression in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, an American warship reportedly opened fire in the Red Sea on Sunday. The USS Carney shot down a drone in self-defense and another in response to a distress call from a Bahamas-flagged ship called the Unity Explorer. The attacks were allegedly carried out by Iran-backed Yemeni rebels, known as the Houthi group, who have been targeting Israel in support of Hamas.
The Houthi rebels confirmed that they attacked both the Unity Explorer and a Panamanian-flagged container ship called the Number 9, claiming that the ships ignored prior warnings. No crew members were injured, and the Carney sustained no damage during the attacks, which took place near Sanaa, Yemen, in the Bab al-Mandab strait.
The Yemeni armed forces, as represented by Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, stated that they will continue to prevent Israeli ships from navigating the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden until the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip ceases. Saree warned that any Israeli ships or those associated with Israelis would become legitimate targets if they violated the stated warning.
This incident follows previous missile attacks in Middle Eastern waters during the Israel-Hamas conflict. The USS Thomas Hudner, an American warship, shot down drones launched from Yemen last month. Additionally, two ballistic missiles were fired towards the USS Mason in the Gulf of Aden after it responded to a distress call from a commercial vessel believed to be under attack by Somalis. The U.S. Navy has been actively engaged in intercepting and neutralizing threats in the region.
It is important to note that the Houthi rebels recently seized a car carrier ship associated with an Israeli billionaire and took its 25 crew members hostage. The rebels justified their actions by stating that all ships belonging to or dealing with Israel would be considered legitimate targets. The ship, named the Galaxy Leader, and its crew are currently being held at the Yemeni port of Hodeida.
These recent attacks in the Red Sea raise concerns about the safety of sailors in the region. The situation remains tense as maritime aggression continues to escalate, with both sides showing no signs of backing down.