DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—An American warship and multiple commercial ships came under attack Sunday in the Red Sea, the Pentagon said. Yemen’s Houthi rebels later claimed attacks on two ships they described as being linked to Israel, but did not acknowledge targeting a U.S. Navy vessel.
“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,” the Pentagon told The Associated Press.
The Carney is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
The British military earlier said there had been a suspected drone attack and explosions in the Red Sea, without elaborating.
The Pentagon did not identify where it believed the fire came from. However, Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree claimed the attacks, saying the first vessel was hit by a missile and the second by a drone while in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.
Saree did not mention any U.S. warship being involved in the attack. He said the attacks would continue as long as Israel continues its war with the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip.
The Houthis have been launching a series of attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, as well as launching drones and missiles targeting Israel amid the war.
Global shipping had increasingly been targeted as the Israel–Hamas war threatens to become a wider regional conflict—even as a truce briefly halted fighting and Hamas terrorists exchanged hostages for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
Earlier in November, the Houthis seized a vehicle transport ship also linked to Israel in the Red Sea off Yemen. The rebels still hold the vessel near the port city of Hodeida. Missiles also landed near another U.S. warship last week after it assisted a vessel linked to Israel that had briefly been seized by gunmen.
However, the Houthis had not directly targeted the Americans for some time, further raising the stakes in the growing maritime conflict. In 2016, the U.S. launched Tomahawk cruise missiles that destroyed three coastal radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory to retaliate for missiles being fired at U.S. Navy ships at the time.