US responds to a Houthi [Yemen] attack in the Red Sea.

To give context to the location of the Red Sea in the Middle East see the map below. The Red Sea is very close to Mecca, the holiest site in Islam. The Houthis are a revolutionary force in Yemen that are supported by Iran.

Commercial ships came under attack Sunday by drones and missiles in the Red Sea and a U.S. warship there opened fire in self-defense as part of an hourslong assault claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, officials said. The attack potentially marked a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war as multiple vessels found themselves in the crosshairs of a single Houthi assault for the first time in the conflict. “We’re aware of reports regarding attacks on the USS Carney and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and will provide information as it becomes available,” the Defense Department told The Associated Press. The Carney is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that’s already shot down multiple rockets the Houthis have fired toward Israel so far in the war. It wasn’t damaged in the attack and no injuries were reported on board, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss early details of a military operation. The Carney responded after hearing from the Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier Unity Explorer that it was under attack by missile fire, the official said. The Carney shot down two drones during the attack, one in self-defense and another after checking on the Unity Explorer, the official said. Assessments were still being made on the Unity Explorer.

The British military earlier said there had been a suspected drone attack and explosions in the Red Sea, without elaborating. The Defense Department did not identify where it believed the fire came from. However, Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree claimed the attacks, saying the first vessel was hit by a missile and the second by a drone while in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. Saree did not mention any U.S. warship being involved in the attack. “The Yemeni armed forces continue to prevent Israeli ships from navigating the Red Sea (and Gulf of Aden) until the Israeli aggression against our steadfast brothers in the Gaza Strip stops,” Saree said. “The Yemeni armed forces renew their warning to all Israeli ships or those associated with Israelis that they will become a legitimate target if they violate what is stated in this statement.” Saree also identified the first vessel as the Unity Explorer, which is owned by a British firm that includes Dan David Ungar, who lives in Israel, as one of its officers.

The second was a Panamanian-flagged container ship called Number 9, which is linked to Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement. Managers for the two vessels could not be immediately reached for comment. Israeli media identified Ungar as being the son of Israeli shipping billionaire Abraham “Rami” Ungar. The Houthis have been launching a series of attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, as well as launching drones and missiles targeting Israel amid the war. Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the attack began about 10 a.m. in Sanaa, Yemen, and had gone on for as much as five hours.

Global shipping had increasingly been targeted as the Israel-Hamas war threatens to become a wider regional conflict — even as a truce briefly halted fighting and Hamas exchanged hostages for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. However, the collapse of the truce and the resumption of punishing Israeli airstrikes and its ground offensive there had raised the risk of the seaborne attacks resuming. Earlier in November, the Houthis seized a vehicle transport ship also linked to Israel in the Red Sea off Yemen. The rebels still hold the vessel near the port city of Hodeida. Missiles also landed near another U.S. warship last week after it assisted a vessel linked to Israel that had briefly been seized by gunmen. However, the Houthis had not directly targeted the Americans for some time, further raising the stakes in the growing maritime conflict. In 2016, the U.S. launched Tomahawk cruise missiles that destroyed three coastal radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory to retaliate for missiles being fired at U.S. Navy ships at the time. ... 8d3c48fbde
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: US responds to a Houthi [Yemen] attack in the Red Sea.

The action took place over a number of hours.
In each case, [destroyer USS] Carney responded to ship distress calls and provided assistance, shooting down multiple air drones that were headed in its direction along the way. It started at about 9:15 a.m. local time, when Carney detected an anti-ship ballistic missile fired from Houthi-controlled areas toward the Bahamian-flagged commercial vessel M/V Unity Explorer that landed “in the vicinity” of Unity Explorer, CENTCOM said. Then, around noon, Carney engaged and shot down a drone launched from Yemen that was heading toward the warship, although CENTCOM said the drone’s specific target was unclear. “There was no damage to the U.S. vessel or injuries to personal,” the command said.

At 12:35 p.m., Unity Explorer reported it had been struck by a missile, and Carney steamed toward the ship and began assisting with a damage assessment, which revealed “minor damage from the missile strike.” At that point, Carney detected another inbound air drone, and destroyed that as well. Roughly three hours later, at about 3:30 p.m. the Panamanian-Flagged M/V Number 9 ship was struck by another missile fired from Houthi areas in Yemen, CENTCOM said, but the strike to the bulk carrier resulted in no damage or casualties. At 4:30 p.m., the Romanian-flagged M/V Sophie II sent a distress call that they had been struck by a missile, with Carney responding and finding only minor damages. As it headed to Sophie II, Carney shot down an air drone headed toward the warship, its third intercept of the day.

Carney has shot down multiple air drones over the Red Sea in the past six weeks. On Oct. 19, its crew intercepted a salvo of missiles and air drones that the Pentagon said were heading toward Israel. The Red Sea is a vital artery in the global economy, and CENTCOM said the attacks “represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security.” ... n-red-sea/

War risk insurance premiums edged up for Red Sea voyages after three vessels were attacked in the area on Sunday and fears grow over worsening perils for commercial shipping, maritime and insurance sources said on Monday. The incidents are the latest in a series of attacks in Middle Eastern waters since a brutal war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas broke out on Oct. 7. The three commercial vessels came under attack in international waters in the southern Red Sea, the U.S. military said on Sunday. Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi group claimed drone and missile attacks on what it said were two Israeli vessels in the area.

"It has now become clear the Houthis will attack anything at sea with links to Israel or Israelis, regardless of how feeble the links may be, and regardless of the potential for collateral damage to non-Israelis, for example crew members," Jakob Larsen, head of maritime safety & security with shipping association BIMCO, told Reuters. Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the two ships cited by the Houthis had no connection to Israel. U.S. Central Command said the three vessels were connected to 14 separate nations. Larsen said the industry would welcome a strengthened naval presence in the area. "Faced with a threat from military formations such as the Houthis, merchant ships rely on protection from naval units," he said.
Insurance industry sources said that war risk premiums had stayed firm on Monday at between 0.05% to 0.1% of the value of a ship, from around 0.03% estimated last week before the attacks. This translates into tens of thousands of dollars of additional costs for a seven-day voyage. Transportation costs in this region are expected to rise further, said Corey Ranslem, CEO of British maritime risk advisory and security company Dryad Global. "The escalation in insurance premiums will contribute to higher costs," he said. "Additionally, the increase in perceived risk may lead to a significant number of vessels opting to by-pass the region altogether, preferring longer routes such as circumnavigating the Horn of Africa." The U.S. military said on Sunday it would "consider all appropriate responses in full co-ordination with its international allies and partners". Ships sailing under the Bahamas flag registry have been among the vessels hit in the various attacks.

The Bahamas delegation told an already scheduled assembly session of the U.N. shipping agency in London on Monday that what was emerging was a "deliberate attack on international shipping" in a critical region. "Whether you are directly involved in this aspect, all of us eventually pay for it - every nation that depends on international shipping," the Bahamas delegation said. In January, shipping associations scaled back risk assessments in the Indian Ocean, which the Rea Sea leads into, after Somali piracy was brought under control. ... 023-12-04/
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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