The United States announced on the 3rd (local time) that a U.S. Navy destroyer and three commercial ships were attacked by Houthi rebels, a Yemeni armed group supported by Iran, in the Red Sea. As the temporary suspension of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian armed group Hamas was broken, the crisis of conflict between Iran-backed armed groups and the U.S. military escalated again.
The U.S. Central Command, which oversees the Middle East, said in a statement that day, “There were four attacks on three merchant ships in international waters in the southern Red Sea,” and “the U.S. destroyer USS Carney supported the merchant ships.”
According to the Central Military Command, the attack lasted for five hours starting at 9:15 a.m. Houthi rebels fired ballistic missiles several times at three merchant ships owned by British residents of Israel, hitting one of them. When the U.S. military dispatched the USS Kani to the scene to provide support, the Houthi rebels launched a drone via a destroyer, but it was shot down by the U.S. military.
Since the war between Israel and Hamas began, the Houthi rebels have repeatedly attacked and captured Israeli and Western ships, but the last time they attacked a U.S. warship was in 2016. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) pointed out, “This is the most serious recent military attack on a vessel operating in the Red Sea.” However, the U.S. military said it was unclear whether the Houthi rebel drones were launched to attack the U.S. destroyer in the first place.
It is pointed out that while the war is intensifying due to Israel’s attack on the southern Gaza Strip, tensions due to clashes with Iran and Iranian-backed armed groups are also rising again. The U.S. Central Command pointed out that “this attack was caused by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, but there is sufficient reason to believe that it was possible with support from Iran,” pointing out that Iran was behind this attack.
In fact, attempts to attack US military bases in Syria and Iraq continued that day. The British Guardian newspaper reported that five Iraqi militants who were preparing to attack a U.S. military base in northern Iraq were killed in a U.S. airstrike.