The United States Navy engaged and destroyed a number of attacking seacraft this weekend off the coast of Yemen in an apparent attack by Houthi rebels. The rebels have been attacking a number of military and civilian vessels heading to and from the Suez Canal since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October.
Several Houthi boats attempted to attack a civilian trading ship this weekend, resulting in a response from the U.S. Navy.
The Pentagon said that several “small boats” attempted to attack a container ship. Individuals on the ships attempted to board the ship equipped with small arms.
The small boats came close to the vessels prior to the intervention of the U.S. Navy.
Several Houthi boats attempted to attack a civilian trading ship this weekend, resulting in a response from the U.S. Navy. The Pentagon said that
Iranian-backed Houthi small boats attack merchant vessel and U.S. Navy helicopters in Southern Red Sea
On Dec. 31 at 6:30am (Sanaa time) the container ship MAERSK HANGZHOU issued a second distress call in less than 24 hours reporting being under attack by four Iranian-backed… pic.twitter.com/pj8NAzjbVF
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) December 31, 2023
Helicopters from two naval vessels warned the boats. The Houthi rebels opened fire on the American forces, causing the Navy helicopters to open fire in response. Three of the four small boats were sunk, with a fourth being able to escape.
No American sailors were hurt during the incident and there was no reported damage.
The United States and the United Kingdom are reportedly considering a military campaign against the rebels in response to recent attacks.
The most recent incident comes after months of attempted and successful attacks on a number of vessels in the region. This includes multiple ballistic missile and drone attacks against U.S. Navy warships. So far, all of the projectiles have either been shot down or missed the target entirely.
A number of drone and missile attacks have been successful against civilian shipping. Several merchant ships have been struck by missile launches. Furthermore, the rebels boarded and hijacked an Israel-linked trading ship and its crew of 25.
The rebels have also launched a number of attacks at Israel itself. However, all of the rockets and drones launched from Yemen toward the Jewish state have failed so far. Some of the projectiles were shot down by U.S. Navy vessels while another was shot down by an Israeli F-35 fighter jet.