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US Responds to Attack on Ship in Red Sea

Response to Distress Call

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The USS Carney has sprung into action, responding to a distress call from a commercial vessel that came under attack in the southern Red Sea. This incident is the latest in a string of attacks on commercial ships in the region, raising tensions and posing a significant challenge to maritime security.

Distress in the Red Sea

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The merchant vessel Swan Atlantic found itself under attack at approximately 9 a.m. Sanaa time. US Central Command revealed that the ship fell victim to a “one-way attack drone and an anti-ship ballistic missile” launched from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen. This incident is part of a series of attacks by Houthi forces funded and trained by Iran.

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A Second Targeted Ship

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Simultaneously, another commercial ship in the Red Sea, the M/V CLARA, was also targeted by Houthi militants. The vessel reported an explosion near its location, although no injuries or damage were reported. It is important to note that this attack is distinct from the one on the Swan Atlantic.

Houthis Claim Responsibility

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The Houthis have claimed responsibility for both ship attacks, linking them to Israel. However, the crews of the targeted ships refused to respond to Houthi calls. The group also warned that they would not harm vessels heading to ports worldwide except those bound for Israeli ports.

Clarification from Ship’s Owner

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In response to the attacks, Inventor Chemical Tankers, the owner of the Swan Atlantic, clarified that there is no Israeli connection in the vessel’s ownership, technical management, or logistics. Incorrect information on marine tracking websites may have led to the vessel’s targeting.

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Diplomatic Response

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These incidents occurred as US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was in the region for meetings with senior Israeli officials amid ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Austin announced plans to convene a meeting with other Middle East defense ministers to address the attacks, emphasizing the need for an international response.

Multinational Security Initiative

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Later, the US defense secretary unveiled a multinational security initiative focused on addressing security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. This initiative includes participation from several nations, underlining the international concern about the escalating situation.

Ensuring Freedom of Navigation

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

Lloyd Austin stressed that the recent escalation of Houthi attacks threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers mariners, and violates international law. The Red Sea, a critical waterway for international trade, has been essential for the freedom of navigation.

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Protecting Vital Shipping Routes

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These developments highlight growing concerns over Houthi interference in the Red Sea, through which millions of barrels of oil pass daily. The potential escorting of ships operating in the Red Sea and the Bab-el-Mandeb strait into the Gulf of Aden is being considered to enhance maritime security.

US Response to Houthi Threat

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The USS Carney’s response to the attacks follows a series of Houthi-initiated incidents targeting commercial vessels. In recent months, the US has taken action by launching strikes against weapons depots and storage facilities linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxy militia groups.

The Ongoing Challenge

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The ongoing challenge of securing vital shipping routes and ensuring maritime safety in the face of Houthi attacks remains a significant concern for the international community. As the situation unfolds, diplomatic efforts and international cooperation will be crucial in addressing these threats.

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Urgency of Safeguarding Vessels

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The response of the USS Carney to the attack on the Swan Atlantic underscores the urgency of safeguarding commercial vessels navigating the Red Sea. As international efforts intensify to counter Houthi threats, the region remains a focal concern for maritime security and stability.

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