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Ships attacked in the Red Sea | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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The destroyer USS Carney detected a missile fired from an area of ​​Yemen controlled by the Houthis on Sunday. (Archive photo)

Agence France-Presse

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An American destroyer shot down three drones while providing assistance on Sunday to commercial ships in the Red Sea targeted by attacks from Yemen, said Washington, which denounced ” a direct threat” to maritime security.

Earlier, Iran-backed Houthi rebels announced they had carried out an operation against Israeli ships in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait – a strategic waterway linking the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden – in retaliation for the war waged by the Israeli army against Palestinian Hamas in Gaza.

Today there were four attacks on three separate commercial vessels operating in international waters in the southern Red Sea, the US military's Middle East Command (Centcom) said in a statement.

The destroyer […] USS Carney responded to the ships' distress calls and provided aid, shooting down three drones heading towards the warship during the day, he said.

The destroyer detected a missile, fired from an area of ​​Yemen controlled by the Houthis, which ended up near a Bahamas-flagged ship, the Unity Explorer. The cargo ship then reported minor damage caused by another missile coming from a rebel-held area.

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The Houthi rebels are part of what they call an “axis of resistance” against Israel, along with groups backed by Iran , like the Palestinian Hamas or the Lebanese Hezbollah.

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The Number 9, a bulk carrier flying the Panamanian flag, declared having been damaged by a missile from Yemen, without reporting any casualties. The Sophie II, of the same flag, indicated that it had also been hit, without suffering significant damage.

For Centcom, these attacks represent a direct threat towards international trade and maritime security.

We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, although launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are entirely financed by Iran, Centcom said .

The United States will consider all appropriate responses in close coordination with its international allies and partners.

The Houthi rebels' claim only mentions the attack on two boats – the Unity Explorer and the Number 9 -, one targeted with a missile, the other with a drone, the statement said. , after the ships rejected warning messages from the Houthis.

The rebels will continue targeting Israeli ships until May Israeli aggression against our brothers in the Gaza Strip cease, they declared.

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Military operations by Houthi rebels have caused several maritime incidents in recent weeks.

Earlier on Sunday, the maritime security company Ambrey reported that a British cargo ship had been hit by gunfire. rocket in the Red Sea, approximately 34.5 km west-northwest of Mocha, Yemen.

The crew reportedly retreated to a secure area of ​​the boat, the maritime security company added.

According to Ambrey, ownership and management of the attacked vessel were linked to Dan David Ungar, a British citizen listed as an Israeli resident in the UK's main business directory.

The British maritime security agency UKMTO indicated that it had received a report concerning drone activity, including a potential explosion, near Bab el-Mandeb, coming from Yemen . She had advised ships in the area to exercise caution.

These incidents come amid heightened tensions in the Red Sea after the Houthi rebels seized the merchant ship Galaxy Leader with its 25 crew members on November 19.

The Galaxy Leader belongs to a British company which is itself owned by an Israeli businessman.

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Houthi rebels seized the British ship Galaxy Leader in November.

The rebels are part of what they describe as the axis of resistance against Israel, along with groups supported by Iran, such as Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah.

They launched a series of drones and missiles towards Israel and many of the devices were intercepted by Israeli defenses or American warships.

The increase in maritime incidents has prompted the foreign ministers of the G7 countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan) to urge rebels to stop threatening international shipping and release the Galaxy Leader and its crew at a meeting last week.

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