In recent developments, U.S. Central Command has reported a significant clash in the Red Sea, where American forces engaged Houthi insurgents following an assault on a civilian cargo ship. The confrontation occurred when the USS Gravely destroyer intercepted two ballistic missiles aimed at the Maersk Hangzhou, a commercial vessel sailing under the Singapore flag. The ship had already been hit by a missile earlier as it navigated through the Southern Red Sea.

Following this initial attack, a group of small boats, allegedly manned by Houthi rebels, launched an assault on the Maersk Hangzhou, employing small arms and attempting to board the ship. In response, the USS Gravely, alongside helicopters from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier, intervened, dispatching verbal warnings that were met with hostile fire.

The U.S. Navy then retaliated in self-defense, resulting in the sinking of three rebel boats and the elimination of their crews, while the fourth aggressor vessel retreated. This incident, which resulted in no casualties among U.S. personnel, marks a notable escalation in the ongoing maritime conflicts linked to broader regional tensions.

The Houthis, a terrorist group backed by Iran, have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea for over a month, claiming their actions are a response to Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip. Despite these assertions, the validity of their targets’ connections to Israel has increasingly come into question.