US Attacks Four Houthi Boats After Receiving Distress Call

The U.S. Navy struck down four small Houthi boats early Sunday morning after an attempt to hijack and board a merchant vessel in the Red Sea.

The Danish ship, the Maersk Hangzhou, sent out a distress call around 6:30 a.m. local time after the crew of four small armed Houthi boats attempted to board the ship. The ship tried to defend itself by returning fire.

According to U.S. Central Command, the Navy was initially responding to reports of the Hangzhou, being struck by a cruise missile.

Helicopters from the USS Eisenhower and USS Gravely were dispatched to assist. Both destroyers were shot at “in the process of issuing verbal calls to the small boats.”

In response, the Navy sunk three out of the four boats in self-defense. The fourth boat escaped. According to Central Command, there was no damage to Naval equipment or personnel.

U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron reported speaking to his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Sunday, letting him know that Tehran’s responsibility in regards to the Houthi rebels.

“I made clear that Iran shares responsibility for preventing these attacks given their long-standing support to the Houthis,” Cameron said in a statement. The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea “threaten innocent lives and the global economy,” he added.

According to a Houthi spokesman, the terrorist groups attacked because the ship’s crew failed to listen to their warning calls. He also reported that ten of the Houthis naval crew were “dead and missing” after the U.S. attacked their boats.

This was the second attack on Hangzhou within 24 hours. It was also attacked on Saturday.

The Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea since November in support of Hamas and have launched more than 100 drone and missile attacks on vessels passing through. The Red Sea is an entry point for ships using the Suez Canal, which is important for transporting goods between Asia and Europe.

Former President Donald Trump declared that the Houthi were a terrorist organization, but the Biden administration dismissed the declaration. The group was recently redeclared to be a terrorist organization by the administration after it began attacking ships.