A U.S. warship and several commercial vessels reportedly came under attack Sunday while operating in the Red Sea, officials said.
The strike threatens to ratchet up already high tensions in the region amid Israel’s war with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
“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 Pentagon said Sunday.
Defense Department officials said they were expecting further clarification on the attack from U.S. Central Command. It wasn’t clear whether the USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, had been damaged in the attack or if there were any injuries.
A commercial vessel belonging to a British company owned by the son of Israeli shipping magnate Rami Ungar was struck during the attack, The Associated Press reported.
On Sunday, Britain’s Maritime Trade Operations agency said it had received reports of a drone attack on ships operating in the Bab-el-Mandeb, a strait between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. The strait connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
“Vessels in the vicinity are advised to follow industry guidance on loitering munitions and are advised to exercise caution and report any suspicious activity,” UKMTO said in a warning to commercial vessels.
The Pentagon has not confirmed who was behind the maritime attack.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, have threatened to attack ships in the Red Sea following Israel’s ground war in Gaza against Hamas militants.
On Oct. 19, the Carney intercepted several missiles and drones that were believed to have been fired by Houthi rebels. Pentagon officials said they were shot down because they were heading north along the Red Sea in the direction of Israel.