Red Sea assault raises maritime concerns in Israel-Hamas war


(MENAFN) An American warship and multiple commercial vessels were attacked in the Red Sea on Sunday, marking a potentially significant escalation in the series of maritime incidents connected to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The Pentagon confirmed the attacks on the USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and commercial ships, but did not specify the source of the attack. The British military reported a suspected drone attack with explosions in the Red Sea. While the Pentagon did not initially identify the attackers, Yemen's Houthi rebels, who have targeted vessels in the Red Sea, launched a series of drone and missile attacks. The situation heightens the risk of maritime conflicts as the Israel-Hamas war threatens to expand further.

The attack reportedly began around 10 a.m. in Sanaa, Yemen, and lasted for as long as five hours, according to a U.S. official. Another official mentioned that the USS Carney intercepted at least one drone during the attack. Despite no immediate comment from the Houthis, a Houthi military spokesman hinted at an "important" statement. The Israel-Hamas war had seen a temporary truce, with hostage exchanges and a halt in fighting, but the collapse of the truce led to resumed Israeli airstrikes and ground offensives, heightening the risk of maritime attacks.

Earlier in November, the Houthis seized a vehicle transport ship linked to Israel in the Red Sea. The rebels still hold the vessel near Hodeida port. Last week, missiles landed near a U.S. warship after it assisted a vessel connected to Israel that had briefly been seized by gunmen. The Houthis had not directly targeted American forces for some time, adding complexity and raising concerns over the evolving dynamics in the maritime conflict. In 2016, the U.S. retaliated against Houthi-controlled territory by launching Tomahawk cruise missiles after missiles were fired at U.S. Navy ships.

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