On Wednesday, two United States-flagged ships carrying cargo for the U.S. Defense and State departments were attacked by the Islamic Republic of Iran-backed Houthi terrorists, according to officials.
The attacks on the container ships Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake increased tensions in the Red Sea following the Houthis’ ongoing attacks on shipping through the vital Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The U.S. and the United Kingdom launched multiple airstrikes against the terrorist group in Yemen to stop their attacks.
The Gulf state of Qatar, one of the world’s top exporters of liquified natural gas, warned that its deliveries were affected by ongoing Houthi attacks. In a statement to The Associated Press (AP), Danish shipper Maersk revealed two of its vessels affected by the Houthi attacks as the American-flagged container ships Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake.
Maersk said the U.S. Navy was accompanying its ships during that time.
“While enroute, both ships reported seeing explosions close by, and the U.S. Navy accompaniment also intercepted multiple projectiles,” Maersk told The AP.
“The crew, ship, and cargo are safe and unharmed. The U.S. Navy has turned both ships around and is escorting them back to the Gulf of Aden,” the company added.
Maersk said the two vessels had cargo that belonged to the US Defense and State departments and other government agencies and were “afforded the protection of the U.S. Navy for passage through the strait.”
Maersk Line, a U.S. subsidiary of Maersk, which operated both ships, stated that it was “suspending transits in the region until further notice.” In an online public statement, the U.S. military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) blamed the Houthis for the attack, stating that they fired “three anti-ship ballistic missiles.”
“One missile impacted in the sea,” CENTCOM said. “The two other missiles were successfully engaged and shot down by the USS Gravely,” an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, CENTCOM said. “While the ongoing developments in the Red Sea area may impact the scheduling of some deliveries as they take alternative routes, LNG shipments from Qatar are being managed with our valued buyers,” the statement read.
Following the brutal Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas against Israel, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and its proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon have continued to escalate attacks against American and Israeli forces in the Middle East region.
In Sanna, the Houthis have vowed to continue to attack American Naval and commercial vessels until Israel stops its military campaign against Hamas. Despite airstrikes from American and British forces, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group continue to provide financial and military support to the Houthis.