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US forces down missiles in Red Sea, kill Houthi rebels

Updated on: 01 January,2024 04:30 AM IST  |  Beirut
Agencies |

The USS Gravely and USS Laboon responded to the call for help, and the Denmark-owned vessel was reportedly seaworthy and no injuries were noted, the statement added.

US forces down missiles in Red Sea, kill Houthi rebels

The Galaxy Leader cargo ship being escorted by Houthi boats after being hijacked. File Pic/X

The US military said Sunday it shot down two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired toward a container ship by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. Hours later, four boats tried to attack the same ship, but US forces opened fire, killing several of the armed crews, the US Central Command said. No one was injured on the ship.


The Singapore-flagged Maersk Hangzhou reported they had already been hit by a missile Saturday night while transiting the Southern Red Sea and requested assistance, Centcom said in a statement. The USS Gravely and USS Laboon responded to the call for help, and the Denmark-owned vessel was reportedly seaworthy and no injuries were noted, the statement added.


“This is the 23rd illegal attack by the Houthis on international shipping since Nov. 19,” Centcom said. In another statement, Centcom said the same ship issued an additional distress call about a second attack “by four Iranian-backed Houthi small boats.” The attackers fired small arms weapons at the Maersk Hangzhou, getting to within about 65 feet of the vessel, and attempted to it, Centcom said.


A contract-embarked security team on the ship returned fire, the central command said. US helicopters from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and Gravely responded to the distress call and while issuing verbal warnings to the attackers, the small boat crews opened fire on the helicopters, the statement said. “The US Navy helicopters returned fire in self-defence,” sinking three of the four boats, killing the crews.

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