WASHINGTON: The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported that an American destroyer successfully intercepted two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired by Houthi from Yemen. The missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled territory, marking the 23rd such attack on international shipping by the Houthi since November 19.
The incident occurred in response to a distress call from the Maersk Hangzhou, a container ship that was hit by a missile while transiting the Red Sea.
The USS Gravely and USS Laboon, both destroyers, responded to the call for assistance and successfully shot down the incoming missiles, which were targeted “toward the ships,” according to CENTCOM.
The Houthi, have repeatedly targeted vessels in the Red Sea, citing support for Palestinians in Gaza. These attacks pose a threat to the vital Red Sea shipping lane, which carries up to 12 percent of global trade.
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In an effort to protect Red Sea shipping, the United States established a multinational naval task force earlier this month. The Houthi have claimed to be targeting Israel and Israeli-linked vessels with their missile attacks.
The recent escalation in the Israel-Hamas conflict has triggered a series of attacks in the region, with armed groups opposing Israel carrying out strikes. The US military aid to Israel in response to the conflict has intensified tensions, leading to attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria by Iran-backed armed groups.
This incident highlights the ongoing challenges in the region, where geopolitical tensions have repercussions on international shipping and security.