(NationRise.com) – The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said that Houthi forces in Yemen fired two ballistic missiles against a US destroyer on November 26. The agency noted that the Arleigh-Burke class warship USS Mason responded to an emergency call from a commercial vessel. According to the British military’s UK Maritime Trade Operations, the tanker was in the Gulf of Aden, which is 56 kilometers south of Yemen’s coast.
As reported by The Associated Press, the tanker M/V Central Park is managed by Zodiac Maritime and sails under a Liberian flag. Zodiac Maritime noted that the ship was carrying phosphoric acid and had a crew of 22 sailors of different nationalities. These included Georgia, Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, the Philippines, India and Bulgaria.
The news agency noted that the tanker was under attack by unidentified armed forces, with some of its gunmen successfully boarding the commercial ship. When the USS Mason arrived to help the M/V Central Park, five of the gunmen disembarked from the tanker and tried to escape on a small boat. Nevertheless, the US destroyer tracked down the pirates and arrested all of them.
In a statement, CENTCOM said that the ballistic missiles were fired toward the location of the tanker and the destroyer a couple of hours after the incident. The agency pointed out that the two ballistic missiles landed near the Gulf of Aden. No deaths or infrastructural damage was reported from the failed attack.
On her Twitter account, Fox News’ chief national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin said that Houthi militias are formally backed by the Iranian regime, which makes the attack a “significant escalation” that could destabilize the region. She added that “well-placed sources” told her that Houthi rebels plan to keep attacking US Navy vessels.
Following the attack, United States CENTCOM Commander Michael Erik Kurilla said in a statement that maritime domain security is crucial to the stability of the Middle East. He added that the CENTCOM will keep working with partners and allies to guarantee the security and safety of all international shipping lanes.
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