US Forces Clash with Houthi Fighters in Red Sea
According to the US military, a clash occurred in the Red Sea resulting in the death of 10 Houthi fighters and the sinking of three of their vessels. This escalation comes after weeks of Houthi attacks on ships connected to Israel passing through the Bab el-Mandeb strait. The US has teamed up with other nations under Operation Prosperity Guardian to combat these attacks.
What Happened on Sunday?
On Sunday morning, the container ship Maersk Hangzhou issued a distress call, reporting an attack by four Houthi small boats. In response, the USS Gravely intercepted two anti-ship missiles fired at the Maersk vessel. Helicopters were dispatched to assist the Maersk Hangzhou.
Why Are the Houthis Attacking Ships in the Red Sea?
The Houthi group began launching drones and missiles towards southern parts of Israel in October. When their attacks fell short or were intercepted, they turned to targeting ships in the Red Sea believed to have links to Israel. These attacks have caused significant disruption to shipping routes to Israel.
Why Did the US Sink Houthi Boats?
The US’s CENTCOM stated that its helicopters warned the Houthi fighters to stay away when they began attacking the cargo ship. However, the helicopters came under fire and retaliated, resulting in the death of 10 Houthi crew members and the sinking of three boats. The US intends to act in self-defense going forward.
How Have Maersk and Other Shipping Firms Reacted?
In response to the escalating conflict, Maersk announced a temporary pause on all sailing through the Red Sea. Other shipping firms, such as Evergreen, have also taken measures to mitigate the risks. These attacks have led to rerouting of ships around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope instead of using the Suez Canal, which is a longer and costlier route.
Read More of this Story at www.aljazeera.com – 2024-01-01 13:57:11
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