Ships face Houthi-claimed attack in Red Sea as officials say a US warship also fires in self-defense

This Nov. 12, 2018 photo shows the USS Carney in the Mediterranean Sea. The American warship and multiple commercial ships came under attack Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 in the Red Sea, the Pentagon said, potentially marking a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war. “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 said. (Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/U.S. Navy via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Commercial ships came under attack Sunday by drones and missiles in the Red Sea and a U.S. warship there opened fire in self-defense as part of an hours long assault claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, officials said.

The attack potentially marked a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war as multiple vessels found themselves in the crosshairs of a single Houthi assault for the first time in the conflict. “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 Defense Department told The Associated Press.

The Carney is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that’s already shot down multiple rockets the Houthis have fired toward Israel so far in the war. It wasn’t damaged in the attack and no injuries were reported on board, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss early details of a military operation.

The Carney responded after hearing from the Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier Unity Explorer that it was under attack by missile fire, the official said. The Carney shot down two drones during the attack, one in self-defense and another after checking on the Unity Explorer, the official said. Assessments were still being made on the Unity Explorer.

The British military earlier said there had been a suspected drone attack and explosions in the Red Sea, without elaborating.

Comment: AnsarAllah officials have claimed responsibility for the attacks and have declared they will target any Israeli ship passing through the Red Sea. It doesn’t appear either of the two targeted ships were connected to Israel. Israel has sent a sub and several other warships to the Red Sea.

The Houthis have proven tough, wily and resourceful. I doubt a few demonstrative long distance strikes at coastal targets will deter them. It’s going to take some serious surveillance and target acquisition from air, sea and space assets, along with some close in SOF assets. In the meantime we need equally serious air and surface defense to protect commercial traffic in the Red Sea. Are we up to it?


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26 Responses to Ships face Houthi-claimed attack in Red Sea as officials say a US warship also fires in self-defense

  1. F&L says:

    Did you read about the former high German foreign minister who says it’s time for Germany to acquire nuclear weapons of its own? I think he says the EU should. That’s double talk. It’s almost like either God or the Devil actually exist, or that some karmic demon is watching. Why do I say that? Because it would be damn funny if the real train of causality is A) Israel genocides Gaza ➡️ B) Germany gets nuclear weapons. Especially since C) The Germans are damned good engineers/scientists and D) Their nukes would be brand-spanking new and super reliable. Let’s not forget these items E) The US is led morons F) The UK isn’t looking much better and especially, and here I cite you yourself as an expert with a direct quote, although I think you were being too kind, G) The Israelis are stupid idiots.

    For those who still don’t get it, the Germams killed 5.28 millions Jews (usually rounded up to 6). So keep on genociding, Mr Joe and Mr Bibi. Keep it up.

  2. mcohen says:

    Yemen narrative is is an American blockade of the red sea and Mediterranean

    • TTG says:


      The Yemeni military claimed responsibility for the attacks in a televised announcement. The last thing the US wants is a blockade of the Red Sea. Our economy depends on the free flow of sea-based commerce.

    • F&L says:


    • Fred says:

      LOL “Blockade” of whose ships? China is not going to get their cheap crap to Europe and those nice Mercedes won’t make it to Saudi Arabia?

  3. Stefan says:

    Ask the Saudis. They have tried to stop the Houthis since 2015, not had much luck, even using US intelligence. Targeting things deemed to be Israeli would probably be the one thing that would unite the Yemenis behind the Houthis, at least when it comes to that. Even many hard core Southern secessionists are lauding the the Houthis and their attempts. They are usually very anti-Houthi. It would seem the Houthis need to do better with their own intelligence. Actually targeting Israeli ships instead of just random ships and labeling them Israeli. The only real derision the Houthis are seeing in the Yemeni community, at home and abroad, is the fact that the ships they have been targeting have yet to actually be Israeli.

    The “Arab street” as it were is pretty much united on the I/P issue. At odds, as usual, with their own leadership who care little beyond their continued rule and their bank accounts. This is why, once you move past sectarian issues, groups like Hizb’Allah and the Houthis are more popular than the leaders of these various states.

  4. F&L says:

    God: Why do TTG any favors? Let him stick with his retarded US Military sources, better for us, the good guys. You will be supporting gay rights and transition surgery while at the same time a hugely inflated and immoral defense budget which can’t even be audited much less pass an audit, plus genocide or ethnic cleansing or mass murder of children, call it what you will.

    Lucifer: Calm down, remember to be jovial, Jove. My only purpose is to irritate him by pointing out that a Brazilian housewife who watches military news on a new large TV in her kitchen all day is in fact light years ahead of him, his sources, and the entire gay, lesbian and transexual defense department and intelligence apparatus of the united states.

    God: Well I can’t allow that without providing the poor deceived retired Lt Col a rejoinder, as I am merciful in addition to being all seeing and omniscient ..
    So here it is — Lloyd Austin just the day before yesterday gave a vitriolically jingoistic speech at a Ronald Reagan society gathering in CA where he sounded just like Miss Patricia here, going into detail about how the US defense industry is being restructured due to ongoing events, so I suspect he follows her on X (formerly Twitter).

    Lucifer: You realize “Patricia” ends with CIA, no?

    God: What was the first name of the founder of this turcopolier blog, and why does Langley start with Lang?

    Tenho ótimos livros em minha cozinha e agora, com uma TV maior, deixo ligada em programas militares enquanto cozinho. Boca de fogão acesa no M2A1.
    I have great books in my kitchen and now, with a bigger TV, I leave on shows military while cooking. Stove mouth lit on M2A1.
    More money, limited manufacture and a limited arsenal.

    While this war has served as a catalyst for significant changes in the Russian military industry, boutique weapons still persist in the West.
    The necessary transformations required to develop a robust Western defense system have not materialized, and the reliance on expensive boutique weaponry continues to burden western taxpayers, specially the Europeans.
    Although there have been some initiatives to expand the production of vehicles like Patria and Boxers, with the establishment of a few new factories, the defense sector as a whole lacks a comprehensive industrial defense plan.
    The costs:
    It is understandable that certain vehicles may cost 70% more when produced in US/Europe due several questions, but it is unacceptable for a guided shell to be priced 8 times higher than its equivalent in other countries. It is even more shocking to witness a guided shell costing 200-250 times more than a conventional one. (More at link, considerably more)

    • TTG says:


      Patricia Marins may bill herself as a housewife, but she spent many years as a cog in the MIC. She’s not stupid, but she’s definitely in Putin’s corner. She’s right about the US and other Western MICs. They are wedded to the very expensive and very complex weapon systems. Ukraine and others are leading the way to smaller, cheaper and far more numerous weapons like drones with techno-geeks in garages developing EW solutions for these weapons on the fly. Austin sees this and is trying to move US defense procurement in that direction. The beltway bandits are used to buying up small, inventive companies. I’m sure they’ll increase their efforts in this regard. BTW, many of those small, inventive companies plan on being bought out eventually as part of their business plan. That’s where the money is.

      The Russian MIC is even worse. Not only are they wedded to expensive, complex weapons systems, but they built those systems reliant on Western high tech. Now they have to go back to the drawing board relying on 1960s level technology and begging for stuff from North Korea and Iran.

      On the subject of complex weaponry, things have come a long way from my days in green. Just last night i was looking at the capabilities of the NLAW and compared it to the LAW that I carried. Those things were just dumb RPGs in a collapsable fiber tube. The sight was simple stadia lines on a piece of plastic. If you wanted a reliable chance of hitting the target, you had to be 50 to 75 meters away. The NLAW has a freaking intelligent guidance system and is reliably accurate out to its 800 meter max range. It can even do top down attacks. I often compare the iron sighted M-16A1 I carried with the M-4A1 carried by the Marines at the Quantico gates with their Trijicon ACOG 4X low light optics. Even these commercial drones are complex compared to my M-16A1 and LAWs.

      • F&L says:

        You’ll know better than I what to make of this below. Is it the same ambush mentioned by Crooke in this morning’s interview with Judge Napolitano? I’m embarrassed to say I have no idea.
        The IDF now has its own Makeevka. At night, in the border area near Lebanon, Hezbollah launched a rocket attack on three tent camps of the Israeli army. The air defense was able to shoot down 9 out of 23 missiles fired, 7 missiles hit a fuel and lubricants warehouse and a medical equipment warehouse, where more than 25 oxygen cylinders were temporarily placed.
        As a result of the strike, a large number of soldiers were killed, and the number of wounded numbered in the hundreds. Israeli Air Force helicopters carried out the wounded for more than 7 hours straight. All nearby hospitals are filled with IDF fighters. Tomorrow the military prosecutor’s office will begin an investigation.
        By order of Netanyahu, the incident was classified. Turkish sources claim that the death toll is in the hundreds. At this moment, the Israeli Air Force is delivering a crushing blow to Lebanese territory and pro-Iranian groups in the Syrian province of Homs.

      • d74 says:

        “you had to be 50 to 75 meters away”

        If only for short range…
        You also had anti-tank weapons that required the shooter
        a high willingness to commit suicide.

        I speak for freench portable anti-tank, LRAC 73 et 89 mm.
        I should say the shooter and the loader for the LRAC 73. The recoil was so powerful (yes, we’re talking about a rocket) that the loader had to support the shooter. And receive a mass of hot particles in the face and on the arms if he didn’t take a good position.
        There’s so much to say about these stupid, ineptly-designed weapons, for example, having a clearance of 60 m (!) behind the weapon to avoid being burned in the back by the flashback. Shooting into an enclosure guaranteed exploding eardrums and serious burns, at the very least.

        Inept and suicidal, whereas RPG 7 had shown the way long before. In the YPG/YPJ videos, I was always amazed to see a frail young girl check a free rear zone of about 5 m, shoulder and shoot standing up (standing up!) at a masonry target 100 m or 200 m ahead and make a big hole. No criticism here, the LRAC 73 head was really powerful on any target, steel or concrete. Even more so for the LRAC 89mm.
        (LRAC: Anti-tank rocket launcher)

        I’m not familiar with modern infantry anti-tanks, but let’s not despair…

        • TTG says:


          We had a similar weapon to your LRAC 73 in our 90mm recoilless rifle. It was heavy, but had a better range and effectiveness than the LAW. Since the 90 had HEAT, HE and AP flechette rounds, it was a versatile weapon. At least the LAW and 90 were shoot and scoot weapons. You had a chance to duck and cover. The Dragon missile was wire guided. You had to keep the sight on the target until impact. That was a long 10 seconds out to a 1,000 meter range. That was after giving your position away with a sizable backblast. If your sight picture wasn’t steady the tiny course correcting rockets would expend themselves and the warhead would drop to the ground before reaching the target.

          I remember learning to calculate the needed backblast space for these weapons for city fighting in our Infantry Officers Basic Course. Our newer ATGMs have a soft launch before the main rocket kicks in so the backblast space isn’t critical. I caught my leg in part of the backblast of a 90 firing from the prone position. I also saw one of 90 crews catch a bit of the backblast in their fighting position. It bounced them around like pinballs. Luckily ther was no real damage.

  5. F&L says:

    There’s a satisfying serving of on topic discussion here, admittedly summary. Crooke is chez Moskva. A – Three items of several: 60 Israeli or IDF killed in an ambush (no detail). B- Attack on ships as per this thread. C- Israeli public in poll supports clearing out of Gaza entirely, not simply destroying Ham Sandwiches and is firmly behind the ongoing operation while watching TV replay of Oct 7 on repeat a la US public with Challemger and 911 towers AND(!) D – US Admin and Israel actually becoming confrontational over their divergence regarding genocide/human rights.

    Alistair Crooke: Will Israel Face Consequences?

    • F&L says:

      Dramatic brief footage of a spectacular fire of a gleaming new high rise building way out East in Vladivostok. There have been several serious fires over the course of the past few days in Russia, thankfully sans injuries afaik. A concentrated burst of activity, which can be diagnostic. Why would an adversary do that? Top of the list of reasons: Because he, she, it, they … can. Included on the list: Considerations regarding firefighters and their equipment set. Simple question: Does it indicate extensive infiltration or nimble, roving units?

      One major fire was in Tatarstan so possibly the Volga is involved and even the Caspian. Vladivostok is a Pacific port and naval base, suggesting?
      The fire is being extinguished at the site of the Atlantic City residential complex under construction in Vladivostok, the prosecutor’s office told RIA Novosti. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, construction materials are burning in the parking lot

    • F&L says:

      No idea as to validity. But sure is interesting given the morning line up.
      An unpleasant intelligence sign: 7,000 American troops are on standby, tense silence surrounds Moody Air Force Base, a secret operation is likely underway.
      During the night, a covert mobilization took place at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Georgia. A mysterious call at 4 a.m. summoned 7,000 troops to the base, giving them no destination other than orders to “pack up and be ready to deploy” by 6 a.m.

  6. elkern says:

    Original article has more juicy details.

    One, at least one of the attacks was from a “ballistic missile”, which seems like a pretty dumb way to attack a ship (compared to cruise missiles, which Houthis have).

    Two, at least three (!) ships (Unity Explorer, Number 9, and Sophie II) were actually hit; all damage is described as “minor”. The article seems a bit fuzzy about the distinction between “missiles” and “drones”, but I think it’s saying that all three hits were “missiles”, which I would expect to be far more capable of doing *major* damage. As always, we might not be getting the Whole Truth here. In any case, three damaged ships will drive Shipping Insurance rates up, at least on routes near Yemen.

    And there is *some* info on who owns the ships which were hit:

    “…the Unity Explorer, which is owned by a British firm that includes Dan David Ungar, who lives in Israel, as one of its officers. The Number 9 is linked to Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement.

    The Sophie II’s owner, Kyowa Kisen of Imabari, Japan, told The Associated Press that the ship’s crew were safe and the vessel did not sustain serious damage. Managers for the two other ships could not be immediately reached for comment.

    Israeli media identified Ungar as being the son of Israeli shipping billionaire Abraham “Rami” Ungar.”

    So, some [tenuous?] links to Israeli ownership, but some random hits.

  7. Christian J Chuba says:

    The U.S. is the #1 arms supplier to Israel including the bombs raining down on the Gaza Strip. While this is not an Israeli ship, the Houthis are being consistent in declaring that this is related to Israel’s Gaza strip bombing. They could also target U.K. ships using the same reasoning.

    Neocons ignore the connection to the Gaza strip and pin it all on alleged Iranian expansion. This helps candidate Nikki Haley. If she becomes President there will be a full scale war in the M.E.

  8. Fred says:

    Iran is ‘inviting’ a US intervention in a way that is at least different from the ones the White Helmet’s engaged in in Syria. The Iranians are no less intelligent than Assad, though not according to the press. Iran will invite direct intervention in their country due to the conduct of proxies hundreds of miles away. Sounds so MSM believable. Sec Dec Austin, well he does read a teleprompter better than his boss.

  9. elkern says:

    More info on this from the only Youtuber I kinda follow (I generally prefer to read rather than watch or listen):

    I really appreciate Sal Mercogliano’s even-handed presentation of things – he focuses on facts and background, not politics. He reinforces my contention (prior comment, above) that these attacks will likely drive up Shipping Insurance rates.

    At around 13:00, he gets into an interesting theory as to why the USS Eisenhower (CNV-69) moved into the Persian Gulf: not just to keep Iran from attacking Israel, but also vice-versa! If Sal is right about this, it means that the Ike is in even more danger there than I had thought.

    • ked says:

      one hopes the Ike has better defensive capability than the Liberty.
      & that the CIA has penetrated Israel’s NatSec inner circle as well as Cuba did the State Dept.

  10. mcohen says:

    They need to evacuate all gazans to Jordan and move all Jewish settlers from the west bank to gaza.The use of gaza as a base to attack israel must end.The two tribes must be permanently separated along territorial lines.All of Jerusalem to be the capital of israel.Amman the capital of Palestine.

  11. ked says:

    have you run that by the Jordanians (or West Bank settlers)?

    seems Israel may be considering washing away Hamas via the Biblical Flood technique. as our Marines say… “kill ’em all & let Yahweh sort ’em out.” or just in a hurry to start the clean-up phase.

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