The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed that several commercial vessels were attacked in the Red Sea on December 3.
The USS Carney, an Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer, quickly responded to distress calls from these ships.
CENTCOM reported, “Today, there were four attacks against three separate commercial vessels operating in international waters in the southern Red Sea. These three vessels are connected to 14 separate nations.”
Defensive Actions Against UAV Threats
The USS Carney detected the first attack around 9:15 a.m. local time. A missile was fired from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen toward the MV Unity Explorer, a Bahamas-flagged, U.K.-owned bulk cargo ship.
Following this, the USS Carney shot down a UAV around noon, aimed at its position from Houthi-controlled areas. CENTCOM stated, “We cannot assess at this time whether the Carney was a target of the UAVs.
“There was no damage to the U.S. vessel or injuries to personnel.”
Further Attacks and U.S. Assistance
A second missile strike from Houthi-controlled areas targeted the Unity Explorer again at 12:35 p.m. The Carney responded to the distress call, and while assisting, it destroyed another inbound UAV.
The Unity Explorer reported minor damage from the missile strike. Later, two more vessels, the MV Number 9 and the MV Sophie II, were also hit by missiles.
The Carney provided necessary assistance to these ships as well.
CENTCOM’s Stance on Maritime Security
CENTCOM underscored the gravity of these incidents, stating, “These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security.”
They highlighted the involvement of multiple nations in these incidents, stressing the global impact.
CENTCOM also suggested that these attacks were enabled by Iran and emphasized the U.S.’s commitment to respond appropriately in coordination with international allies.
Regional Tensions and Houthi Claims
The Houthi group, which has received support from Iran, justified their actions through their military spokesman, Yahya Saree.
He claimed responsibility for the attacks, stating they were in response to the Israel–Hamas conflict.
Saree warned that Israeli ships or those associated with Israelis would be targeted in these waters. He tied the actions to the broader Palestinian issue, indicating a complex geopolitical motivation behind the attacks.
U.S. Involvement and Broader Implications
The USS Carney’s involvement in these incidents is part of a more significant U.S. effort to maintain regional stability and protect international maritime routes.
The situation underscores the volatile nature of regional conflicts and the potential for escalation affecting global maritime security.
The U.S. has demonstrated a firm stance in addressing these challenges, ensuring the safety of international shipping lanes against rising threats.