US Navy helicopters destroy Houthi boats after tried Red Sea hijack | EUROtoday

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The US Navy has destroyed a number of Houthi boats looking for to assault a container ship within the Red Sea.

Four vessels from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen fired on the Maersk Hangzhou and obtained inside 20 metres of the ship.

Helicopters had been launched from US warships and had been fired at by the Houthi boats earlier than they sank three of the 4 vessels, killing the crews. The fourth boat fled the realm, US Central Command (Centcom) stated.

Before the assault by the small boats, the Singapore-flagged Maersk Hangzhou reported that it had already been hit by a missile on Saturday evening whereas transiting the southern Red Sea and requested help.

US ships the USS Gravely and USS Laboon responded to the decision for assist, and the Denmark-owned vessel was discovered to be seaworthy. The US army stated that two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired in the direction of the container ship by the Houthi militants had been additionally shot down at the moment.

Centcom stated it was the twenty third assault on worldwide delivery since 19 November. The Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi have claimed that their assaults on the important delivery lane are directed at vessels linked to Israel, in response to the struggle in Gaza.

Maersk, one of many world’s main cargo shippers, stated on Sunday it will delay all transits via the realm for 48 hours, after the Maersk Hangzhou was struck about 55 nautical miles southwest of town of al-Hodeidah in Yemen.

Hours after the Maersk Hangzhou despatched its preliminary misery name, it issued one other in relation to the assault “by four Iranian-backed Houthi small boats”.

US helicopters from the USS Dwight D Eisenhower plane service and the USS Gravely responded to the misery name, and whereas they had been issuing verbal warnings to the attackers, the small-boat crews opened hearth on the helicopters utilizing small arms, a Centcom assertion stated. “The US Navy helicopters returned fire in self-defence,” it added. No one aboard the Maersk Hangzhou was injured.

The Houthi are allies of Hamas, whose militants attacked inside Israel on 7 October, killing 1,200 individuals and taking one other 240 hostage. In the wake of the assault, Israel vowed to eradicate Hamas, who management Gaza, beginning an aerial bombardment, blockade and floor offensive that well being officers within the territory say has killed greater than 21,000 individuals.

The Houthi say their assaults are supposed to finish Israel’s air and floor operations in opposition to Gaza. The assaults have disrupted world commerce, with main delivery corporations taking the longer and costlier route round Africa’s Cape of Good Hope slightly than transiting the Suez Canal.

The Red Sea is the entry level for ships utilizing the Suez Canal, which handles about 12 per cent of world commerce and is important for the motion of products between Asia and Europe.

On Saturday, the highest commander of US naval forces within the Middle East, Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, stated the Houthi have proven no indicators of ending their “reckless” assaults on business ships within the Red Sea, at the same time as extra nations be a part of the worldwide maritime mission to guard vessels within the important waterway and commerce visitors begins to select up.

Since the Pentagon introduced Operation Prosperity Guardian – which entails the UK – to counter the assaults nearly two weeks in the past, 1,200 service provider ships have travelled via the Red Sea area, and none have been hit by drone or missile strikes, Vice Admiral Cooper stated.

Britain’s overseas secretary, David Cameron, stated on Sunday that he had asserted in a name with Iranian overseas minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian that Iran shares accountability for stopping Houthi assaults within the Red Sea.

“I made clear that Iran shares responsibility for preventing these attacks, given their long-standing support to the Houthis,” he stated in a publish on social media website X, including that the assaults “threaten innocent lives and the global economy”.

Associated Press contributed to this report