US Navy sinks three Houthi boats in Red Sea after they attempted to board Singapore-flagged container ship

In a recent incident reported by the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), the U.S. Navy successfully thwarted an attack by ‘small’ Houthi boats in the Red Sea.

The attempted assault targeted a Singapore-flagged container ship, Maersk Hangzhou, capable of carrying 14,000 containers. While the crew of the vessel is reported to be safe, the exact number of militants killed remains unknown.

The attack unfolded when four Iranian-backed Houthi small boats approached the Maersk Hangzhou, firing crew-served and small-arms weapons and attempting to board the vessel.

U.S. Navy helicopters from the USS Eisenhower and Gravely responded to the distress call, issuing verbal warnings to the small boats. In self-defense, the helicopters returned fire, sinking three of the boats and eliminating the crews, while the fourth boat managed to escape.

This incident marks the latest in a series of rebel attacks on vessels in support of the Palestinian group Hamas amid its conflict with Israel.

Notably, Maersk Hangzhou had issued a distress call less than 24 hours before this event. In response to the ongoing threats, the global shipping giant Maersk has temporarily suspended its operations in the Red Sea for 48 hours to assess the risks to commercial vessels in the region.

The Houthi group, known for sporadic attacks on ships in the region, has yet to comment on these specific incidents.

This recent engagement adds to the escalating tensions in the region, where the U.S. and its allies have initiated Operation Prosperity Guardian to safeguard crucial shipping routes.

The Houthis’ tactics have evolved, including the use of drones, missiles, and even seizing vessels to assert control over the maritime domain. The conflict underscores the broader geopolitical dynamics involving Iranian-backed rebels and regional security concerns.

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