Mon 27 Nov 2023 2:23 pm - Jerusalem Time
Two missiles were launched from Yemen towards an American destroyer in the Gulf of Aden
The US Central Command announced, at dawn on Monday, the launch of two ballistic missiles from areas controlled by the Houthis in Yemen towards a US naval destroyer in the Gulf of Aden.
The missile launch came while the American destroyer was assisting a tanker belonging to an Israeli-linked company in the Gulf of Aden, which was seized by gunmen on Sunday, they released it before the US Navy arrested them.
The command said in a statement on the “X” platform: “The two ballistic missiles fell in the Gulf of Aden, 10 nautical miles from the American destroyer, without causing damage or injuries to the destroyer.”
Commander of US Central Command, General Michael Eric Kurella, said, “Security of the maritime domain is essential for regional stability. We will continue to work with allies and partners to ensure the safety and security of international shipping lanes,” according to the statement.
The statement explained, "On November 26, the US Navy destroyer Mason, along with allied ships from the Anti-Piracy Task Force and associated aircraft, responded to a distress call from the merchant ship (Central Park), which was attacked by an unknown party." .
The statement indicated, "When the destroyer Mason arrived at the location of the hijacked tanker, the coalition members demanded the release of the tanker. After that, five armed individuals disembarked from it and tried to escape via their small boat, but they were chased, which led to their eventual surrender."
On Sunday evening, the Central Park ship, owned by the Israeli Ofer family, was attacked near the coast of Aden, Yemen.
According to what Hebrew newspapers reported on Sunday, the ship sailed “under the Liberian flag, and is owned by the Zodiac Marine Company, based in the United Kingdom.”
Earlier yesterday, Sunday, gunmen seized a tanker loaded with phosphoric acid in the Gulf of Aden, according to the Embrey Maritime Security Company. The company said in a statement, "The Houthis previously threatened to attack the ship if it did not divert its course towards the port of Hodeidah." It added: “There are citizens from Russia, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Georgia, India, and the Philippines on board the tanker.”
The Yemeni government accused the Houthis of being behind the attack, although the Houthi group has not admitted to hijacking the ship or launching the two missiles yet.
The company that owns the tanker, the American and British armies, and the "Embry" company said that the attackers seized the tanker "Central Park", which flies the Liberian flag and is managed by the "Zodiac Maritime" company in the Gulf of Aden.
In addition, Zodiac announced this morning that the tanker and its crew, consisting of 22 sailors from Bulgaria, Georgia, India, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam, were unharmed.
It added, "We would like to thank the coalition forces that responded quickly to protect assets in the region and uphold international maritime law."
Zodiac, headquartered in London, is part of the Zodiac Group, owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.
On November 19, the Yemeni "Ansar Allah" (Houthis) group announced the "kidnapping" of an Israeli ship, which Tel Aviv later denied, confirming that the ship was owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese company, denying that there were Israelis on board.
The Houthi group has previously vowed to target ships owned or operated by Israeli companies “to support the Gaza Strip,” calling on countries to “withdraw their citizens working on the crews of these ships.”