The Pentagon said that the USS Carney, which is based at Naval Station Mayport, and multiple commercial ships, were under attack Sunday in the Red Sea.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the attack began at about 10 a.m. in Sanaa, Yemen, and had gone on for as long as five hours. Another U.S. official who similarly spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reason said the Carney had intercepted at least one drone during the attack.
The Pentagon reported that an American warship based in Jacksonville, the USS Carney, and multiple commercial ships were attacked in the Red Sea. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for attacks on two ships linked to Israel but did not acknowledge targeting the U.S. Navy vessel. The incident potentially signifies a significant escalation in maritime attacks related to the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East.
The Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer based at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida, was involved in the attack. The British military reported a suspected drone attack and explosions in the Red Sea. While the Pentagon did not specify the source of the fire, Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree asserted that the attacks, involving a missile and a drone, occurred in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait linking the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.
Saree did not mention the U.S. warship in the attack but stated that such attacks would persist as long as Israel continued its conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Houthis have been conducting a series of attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, including drones and missiles targeting Israel. The recent incident raises concerns about the escalating maritime conflict amid the Israel-Hamas war.
Global shipping has become a target as the Israel-Hamas conflict risks evolving into a broader regional crisis. Despite a brief truce, the collapse of the ceasefire and the resumption of Israeli airstrikes and ground offensives heightened the risk of seaborne attacks. In November, the Houthis seized a vehicle transport ship linked to Israel in the Red Sea, holding it near the port city of Hodeida. Missiles landed near another U.S. warship last week, which had assisted a vessel briefly seized by gunmen.
While the Houthis had not directly targeted Americans recently, the maritime conflict’s stakes are increasing. In 2016, the U.S. launched Tomahawk cruise missiles, destroying three coastal radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory as retaliation for missiles fired at U.S. Navy ships.