FILE - The USS Gerald R. Ford, arrives in Halifax on Oct. 28, 2022. Within hours of the horrific attack by Hamas, the U.S. began moving warships and aircraft to the region to be ready to provide Israel with whatever it needs to respond.(Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

Israel-Hamas conflict escalates with a US warship attacked in the Red Sea

An incident occurred on Sunday in the Red Sea where both an American warship and several commercial vessels were subjected to an attack. Concurrently, the Gaza Strip witnessed an escalation in Israel’s bombardment, marking a heightened phase in the conflict following a weeklong truce.

In response to the reported attacks on the USS Carney and commercial vessels, the Pentagon stated on Sunday in an email to USA TODAY, “We are 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 USS Carney, characterized as an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and hailed as “505 feet of American fighting steel” on its website, emerged unharmed from the incident. According to an anonymous U.S. official speaking to the Associated Press, there were no reports of serious injuries.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, asserted responsibility for targeting two commercial ships amid their recent series of Red Sea ambushes. Notably, they did not explicitly acknowledge involvement in the attack on the Carney.

These assaults, coupled with heightened confrontations between Israeli forces and Hezbollah in proximity to the Lebanon border, may signify a progression toward an enlarged conflict in the region. This potential escalation contradicts the efforts of the Biden administration, which has worked to prevent further destabilization.

According to an anonymous U.S. official discussing intelligence matters with the AP, the attack commenced around 10 a.m. in Sanaa, Yemen, lasting for up to five hours. Another U.S. official, also speaking anonymously, revealed that the USS Carney had intercepted at least one drone during the course of the attack.

The Houthi rebels released a statement claiming responsibility for an “operation against two Israeli ships in the Bab al-Mandab Strait,” the passage connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. Despite not being Israeli-owned, these ships did show apparent ties to Israel.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, the Houthi military spokesman, mentioned that the ships disregarded warnings prior to the attacks.

The conflict initiated on October 7th when Gaza militants launched a deadly attack across the Israeli border, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties, predominantly women and children. Israel reports nearly 100 of its soldiers have died in the subsequent offensive against the Palestinian enclave.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry under Hamas, over 15,500 Palestinians have lost their lives, with 70% being women and children, and more than 41,000 have sustained injuries.

Vice President Harris has urged Israel to abide by international law, emphasizing the need to cease the killing of innocent Palestinians.

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