A US warship and several commercial vessels were attacked in the Red Sea on Sunday, the Pentagon said. Yemen’s Houthis later claimed to have attacked two ships they believed to be affiliated with Israel, but did not admit that they had attacked a US Navy vessel.
“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 Pentagon told the Associated Press.
Carney is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
Earlier, the British military announced a possible drone attack and explosions in the Red Sea, without, however, specifying what exactly happened.
The Pentagon did not say where it believed the fire came from, but Houthi spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Sari described the attacks, saying the first vessel was attacked by a missile and the second by a drone while it was in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
Sari said the first vessel to be attacked was the Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier Unity Explorer, owned by a British firm whose employee is Israel-based Dan David Ungar. Israeli media reported that Ungar is the son of Israeli billionaire Abraham “Rami” Ungar.
The Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier Unity Explorer is owned by Unity Explorer Ltd and operated by London-based Dao Shipping Ltd, LSEG data shows. The ship was scheduled to arrive in Singapore on December 15.
The second vessel, Number 9, bound for the Port of Suez, is a Panama-flagged container ship owned by Number 9 Shipping Ltd and managed by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, according to LSEG.
The Houthis have carried out a number of attacks on shipping in the Red Sea since the start of Israel’s military action against Hamas, and have also launched drones and missiles targeting Israel.
ABC News, citing a US official, reported that the US Navy ship Carney was involved in several incidents involving Houthi attacks on merchant ships.
“In at least two circumstances, the Carney successfully shot down [unmanned aerial vehicles] headed in its direction,” he told ABC.
Earlier in November, the Houthis seized a transport ship, also associated with Israel, in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen. The US authorities detained five armed individuals who attempted to seize a tanker in Central Park.
The Houthis have not launched direct attacks on American shipping for some time, but last week rocket fire took place near another American warship after it assisted an Israeli-linked vessel that had come under attack.