4 December 2023






2 mins

Following the 2023 Yom Kippur attack by Hamas on Southern Israel on Saturday 7th October , the Houthi Movement officially known as Ansar Allah  began to fire missiles at Israeli cities; the attacks marked the first instance of space warfare in human history, as Israel began to actively intercept the Houthis’ ballistic missiles in outer space. The Houthis have stated that their intent is to continue attacking Israel until it is destroyed.

After hijacking the car carrier GALAXY LEADER last week , on Sunday 3rd December the Houthis carried out  four attacks against three separate commercial vessels operating in international waters in the southern Red Sea. These three vessels are connected to 14 separate nations. The Arleigh Burke Class destroyer USS CARNEY DD 64 responded to the distress calls from the ships and provided assistance.

Archived image of USS CARNEY DDG 64 entering Haifa, Israel back to April, 2018.

Around 0915 hrs Sanaa time, DDG 64 detected an anti-ship ballistic missile attack fired from Houthi controlled areas of Yemen towards the 200 m bulker UNITY EXPLORER, impacting in the vicinity of the vessel. She’s a Bahamas flagged (BHS), British owned and operated, crewed by sailors from two nations. The United States Naval Destroyer was conducting a patrol in the Red Sea and detected the attack on the UNITY EXPLORER.

Around noon and while in international waters, CARNEY engaged and shot down a UAV launched from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen. The drone was headed towards CARNEY although its specific target is not clear. There was no damage to the U.S. vessel or injuries to personnel.

In a separate attack around 1235 hrs UNITY EXPLORER reported they were struck by a missile fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen. CARNEY responded to the distress call. While assisting with the damage assessment, CARNEY detected another inbound UAV, destroying the drone with no damage or injuries on the CARNEY or UNITY EXPLORER. UNITY EXPLORER reports minor damage from the missile strike.

Around 1530 hrs the 260 m container ship NUMBER 9 was struck by a missile fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen while operating international shipping lanes in the Red Sea. The Panamanian flagged (PAN) , Bermuda and U.K. owned and operated,  reported damage and no casualties.

Around 1630 hrs , the  229m bulker AOM SOPHIE II, sent a distress call stating they were struck by a missile. CARNEY again responded to the distress call and reported no significant damage. While en route to render support, CARNEY shot down a UAV headed in its direction. SOPHIE II is a Panamanian flagged (PAN) bulk carrier, crewed by sailors from eight countries.

These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security. They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world. We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran. The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners.


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