26 November 2023

U.S. Central Command reported that U.S. and allied forces had responded to a distress call from M/V Central Park, a Liberian-flagged tanker linked to Israeli ownership, that was “under attack by an unknown entity” in the Gulf of Aden. “Upon arrival, coalition elements demanded release of the vessel. Subsequently, five armed individuals debarked the ship and attempted to flee via their small boat. The USS Mason pursued the attackers resulting in their eventual surrender. The crew of the M/V Central Park is currently safe”, it asserted. Subsequently, “two ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen toward the general location of the USS Mason and Central Park… The missiles landed in the Gulf of Aden approximately ten nautical miles from the ships”. A Pentagon spokesperson indicated with respect to the attempted seizure that “initial indications [are] that these five individuals are Somali… Clearly a piracy-related incident”.

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