In a significant escalation of the ongoing maritime conflict, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have targeted a U.S. warship with a missile. The attack, which occurred in the Gulf of Aden, has further intensified the already volatile situation in the region.
What Happened: The Houthi rebels, who have been engaged in a series of aggressive attacks on maritime traffic, fired a missile at the USS Carney, a U.S. warship patrolling the Gulf of Aden. The U.S. Navy confirmed that the missile was successfully intercepted, reported the Associated Press on Friday.
This incident marks the first direct attack on a U.S. warship by the Houthi rebels since they began targeting shipping in October. The attack on the Carney is part of a series of aggressive actions by the rebels, including the striking of a British vessel on the same day.
Despite the U.S. and its allies’ efforts to downplay the situation, the Houthi rebels have continued their attacks, disrupting global trade in the region. The U.S. and Britain have responded with airstrikes on Houthi weapons sites in Yemen, a country that has been embroiled in conflict since the rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.
Brad Bowman, a senior director at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said “They’re now finally calling a spade a spade, and saying that, yeah, they’re trying to attack our forces, they’re trying to kill us.”
Why It Matters: The recent attack on the U.S. warship comes in the wake of a warning issued by Chinese officials to Iran, urging them to control the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. The warning, delivered during high-level meetings in Beijing and Tehran, highlighted the potential impact of the attacks on China’s business with Iran.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has been expressing increasing concern about Iran’s supply of advanced weaponry to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. This assistance has significantly enhanced the rebels’ ability to disrupt international commerce and attack merchant vessels, despite ongoing U.S.-led airstrikes.
Following the recent airstrikes by the U.S. and the U.K., with the support of other nations, the Houthis have ordered U.S. and British nationals in Yemen to leave the country within a month. This decision was in response to the military strikes, which were carried out in retaliation for the group’s attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea.
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