A U.S. warship and multiple commercial vessels were reportedly under attack in the Red Sea on Sunday.
The development could signify a serious escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Middle East linked to the Israel-Hamas war.
“We’re aware of reports regarding attacks on the USS Carney and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and will provide information as it becomes available, later,” a Pentagon spokesman told Fox News, after the Associated Press reported on an attack on a U.S. warship in the Red Sea.
USS Carney is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that has been shooting down drones and cruise missiles in recent weeks launched by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who claimed credit for Sunday’s attack. An update is expected soon from the United States Central Command (CENTCOM).
The USS Carney was in the southern Red Sea, just north of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, when it shot down at least two Houthi drones heading in its direction, a U.S. official told Fox News, adding that the action was taken in self-defense.
The drones were launched from Houthi controlled areas of Yemen, the official claimed. The official said several commercial vessels came under fire from the Houthi’s and at least one was hit.
A White House official seemed to downplay the incident to Fox News, saying that the American destroyer specifically did not come under attack in the Red Sea. Apparently, several commercial ships in the area were fired upon, and the U.S. ship responded to their distress calls.
The U.S. official further told Fox News there are no injuries or damage to the USS Carney. The official did not have the exact distance of how far away the drones were when the USS Carney shot them down but said the American destroyer “did not let them come too close.”
There are no injuries to any of the crew members on the commercial vessels, which represent multiple nations, meaning the crews are from one country, while the ships are owned by another country and flagged by another, according to the official. The attacks on the commercial vessels are said to have happened over several hours on Sunday.