Yemen’s Houthi rebels recently launched a missile on Friday toward a US warship patrolling the Gulf of Aden, prompting the vessel to intercept the projectile, officials reported.
This incident represents the latest in a series of attacks by the insurgents targeting ships navigating through the Red Sea and adjacent waters, causing disruptions to global trade amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
An anti-ship ballistic missile approached the USS Carney, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer involved in American efforts to counter the Houthi aggression since November, according to the U.S. military’s Central Command.
“The USS Carney successfully intercepted the missile,” the statement confirmed. “There were no reported injuries or damages.”
The Iran-aligned Houthi rebels did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack, a pattern they typically follow, waiting several hours before acknowledging their assaults.
Escalating tensions and airstrikes following Houthi missile attack
The United Kingdom Maritime Operations, responsible for overseeing maritime activities in the Middle East, initially reported the attack southwest of Yemen’s port city of Aden.
The U.S. statement avoided explicitly stating that the Carney was targeted by the Houthis, a strategy Washington has maintained since the attacks began in November. This approach aims to prevent the escalation of tensions in the Red Sea amid concerns about the Israel-Hamas conflict potentially expanding into a broader regional crisis.
However, both the U.S. and Britain have conducted multiple airstrikes targeting Houthi missile facilities and launch sites in Yemen since November. Since 2014, the Houthis have embroiled Yemen in conflict by seizing control of the capital, Sanaa.
Since November, the insurgents have repeatedly attacked ships in the Red Sea, citing retaliation for Israel’s military actions in Gaza against Hamas. However, they have often targeted vessels with minimal or no apparent connections to Israel, endangering shipping routes crucial for global trade between Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
Following the commencement of the airstrike campaign, the rebels have threatened to target American and British vessels. On Wednesday, two U.S.-flagged ships carrying cargo for the U.S. Defense and State departments came under attack by the Houthis, prompting a U.S. Navy warship escort to intercept and neutralize some of the incoming projectiles.