Home » Iran sends warship to Red Sea after US sinks Houthi boats
Defence Featured Global News Lifestyle News United States

Iran sends warship to Red Sea after US sinks Houthi boats

Iran dispatched a warship to the Red Sea after the U.S. Navy destroyed three Houthi boats, a move that risks ratcheting up tensions and complicates Washington’s goal of securing a waterway that’s vital to global trade.

The Alborz destroyer traversed the Bab El-Mandeb strait, a narrow choke point between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, on Monday, Iranian state media said without providing further information on the vessel’s mission.

Iran’s foray into the Red Sea a day after the U.S. action compounds a highly volatile situation in the channel that handles about 12% of the world’s commerce. The move could be seen as a challenge to the U.S.-led maritime task force established last month to halt attacks on ships by the Tehran-backed Houthi rebels who control a swath of Yemen’s northwest, including the capital Sanaa and the Red Sea port of Al-Hudaydah.

The Houthis, in November, began attacking vessels they claimed were headed to or owned by entities in Israel in a bid to end an Israeli offensive in Gaza, after Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, staged a shock attack inside Israel on Oct. 7.

In one month, the Houthis hijacked one container ship and launched more than 100 drone and ballistic missile attacks, targeting 10 merchant vessels involving more than 35 different nations, according to the Pentagon.

Operation Prosperity Guardian, involving the navies of the U.S. and nine other nations, swung into action from Dec. 19 and had a fierce encounter with the militants on Sunday.

Helicopters aboard two U.S. destroyers in the Red Sea, the USS Eisenhower and the USS Gravely, responded to a distress call by the Maersk Hangzhou as Houthis in four speedboats tried to board the vessel, according to the U.S. military. Houthi fighters ignored verbal warnings, fired at the aircraft and triggered a lethal response in which three of the boats were sunk. It was the Houthis’ second major shipping attack in less than 24 hours.

Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald