Saada, Yemen
13 December 2023

CENTCOM confirmed that the USS Mason responded to “a mayday call from the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Motor Vessel Ardmore Encounter, which was under attack from Houthi forces. These forces first attempted to board the tanker via skiffs. When this was unsuccessful, a pair of missiles were fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen at the vessel, which both missed. While responding to the distress call, the Mason shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle also launched from Houthi-controlled areas. The UAV was heading directly towards the Mason and was shot down in self-defence. There were no injuries to personnel and no damage to any vessels”. The same day as the attacks, Israeli President Isaac Herzog contended that “the Houthis have crossed a red line in the Red Sea. The U.S.-led international activities against the Houthi terror-pirates must be bolstered and strengthened, in the form of a truly international coalition. Under the direction of their totalitarian commanders in Tehran, the Houthis’ continued acts of terrorism and piracy against ships of all nationalities and ownerships requires the entire international community to act, united, forcefully and decisively to stamp out this vile threat to the global economy and trade”.

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