3 December 2023

CENTCOM reported “four missile attacks against three separate commercial vessels operating in international waters in the southern Red Sea… These three vessels [M/V Unity Explorer, M/V Number 9 and M/V Sophie II] are connected to fourteen separate nations”. While responding to distress calls, the USS Carney downed three UAVs. CENTCOM asserted that it had “every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran. The U.S. will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners”. The Houthis claimed responsibility for targeting two of the ships, describing them as “Israeli vessels”, and warned they would “continue to prevent Israeli ships from navigating the Red and Arab Seas until the Israeli aggression against the steadfast brothers in the Gaza Strip stops”. An Israeli military spokesperson said the vessels were “without a connection to the state of Israel”. Iran rejected involvement in attacks in the Red Sea, asserting that “resistance factions in the region do not receive orders from the Islamic Republic of Iran… These factions make decisions and act according to their own principles and priorities”.

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