Multiple Houthi rebels killed by U.S. helicopters in Red Sea

In an escalation of the maritime conflict linked to the war in Gaza, the U.S. military has announced that its forces opened fire on Houthi rebels after they attacked a cargo ship in the Red Sea. The incident occurred when the Singapore-flagged Maersk Hangzhou reported being hit by a missile. The USS Gravely destroyer responded by shooting down two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired at the vessel. Shortly after, four small boats attacked the cargo ship with small arms fire, and rebels attempted to board the vessel. In response, the USS Gravely and helicopters from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier issued verbal warnings to the attackers, who then fired on the helicopters. The U.S. navy helicopters returned fire, sinking three of the four boats and killing the individuals on board. No damage to U.S. personnel or equipment was reported.

The Houthis, a Yemeni militia group backed by Iran, claimed that 10 of their naval personnel were "dead and missing" after the attack. They stated that the missile attack on the Maersk Hangzhou occurred after the crew refused to heed warning calls. The U.S. Central Command reported that this was the 23rd illegal attack by the Houthis on international shipping since November 19, and the first time U.S. personnel had killed Houthi fighters in the Red Sea attacks.

The attacks by the Houthis have raised concerns about the security of the Suez Canal, a crucial trade route. As a result, several shipping companies have diverted their vessels. Denmark-based shipping giant Maersk, owner of the Maersk Hangzhou, has announced the suspension of shipping through the Red Sea for the next 48 hours to investigate the incidents and assess the security situation.

In response to the ongoing attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, the U.S. established an international coalition to protect vessels travelling through the waterway. The coalition includes the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain. Since the inception of Operation Prosperity Guardian, over 1,200 merchant ships have travelled through the Red Sea region without being hit by drone or missile strikes.

The situation in the Red Sea continues to evolve, and the international community is closely monitoring the developments to ensure the safety and security of commercial shipping in the area.


More from Press Rundown