Tensions in the Red Sea continue unabated. A U.S. destroyer shot down three drones on Sunday (Dec. 3rd) while assisting commercial vessels under attack from Yemen, the U.S. Middle East Military Command (Centcom) said in a statement.

"Today (Sunday) there were four attacks on three separate commercial vessels operating in international waters south of the Red Sea," Centcom said. "The Arleigh-Burke-class destroyer USS Carney responded to distress calls from the ships and provided assistance," shooting down three drones that were heading toward the warship during the day.

Today, there were 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 responded to the distress calls from the...

— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) December 3, 2023

The USS Carney detected a missile, fired from an area of Yemen controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, that landed near the Bahamas-flagged ship Unity Explorer. The cargo ship later reported minor damage from another missile from a rebel-held area.

Read alsoIsrael-Hamas war: with Yemen's Houthi attacks, the spectre of an "escalatory logic"

The ship Number 9, a Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier, said it had been damaged by a missile from Yemen, but there were no casualties.

The Sophie II, which also flies the Panamanian flag, said it had also been hit, but did not suffer significant damage.

Houthi claimed responsibility for attacks

Earlier, the Houthis had announced, in a statement posted on social media, that they had carried out an "operation against two Israeli ships in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait", a strategic waterway linking the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, targeting the first ship with a "missile and the second with a drone".

According to the statement, the ships are the "Unity Explorer" and the "Number Nine". It is specified that the attack took place after they "rejected the warning messages" of the Houthis.

The rebels said they would continue to target Israeli ships "until the Israeli aggression against our brothers in the Gaza Strip stops."

Read alsoCargo ship attack: do Houthi rebels threaten global maritime trade?

Earlier in the day, maritime security company Ambrey said a British Bahamas-flagged cargo ship had been hit by a rocket attack in the Red Sea.

According to Ambrey, the ownership and management of the attacked vessel is linked to Dan David Ungar, a British citizen listed as an Israeli resident in Britain's leading business directory.

Centcom believes that these attacks represent "a direct threat to international trade and maritime security".

"We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, although launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are entirely funded by Iran," Centcom said. "The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with our international allies and partners."

With AFP

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