A former ambassador to Iraq has warned that Iran is responsible for the multiple confirmed attacks on American warships in the Red Sea – and that the only way to stop them is for Biden to fight back.
Nathan Sales, former Ambassador-at-Large to Iraq and the Levant, discussed the Pentagon confirmed attacks US maritime vessels linked to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
‘Iran is behind everything that we’re seeing in terms of attacks directed on U.S. forces,’ Sales said on Fox News.
‘We’re seeing Iranian proxies attack Americans in Syria and Iraq and now from Yemen. And they’re going to keep doing it until we make them stop.’
On Sunday, US Central Command confirmed there were four attacks against three separate commercial vessels in the southern Red Sea fired from Yemen’s Houthi controlled areas, which are being funded by Iranian government money.
Former US Ambassador Nathan Sales said the confirmed attacks on American warships in the Red Sea won’t stop unless Biden takes action
Pictured: Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Sales said the attacks are coming from Iranian proxies and will not stop unless we make them
‘These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security,’ said US Central Command.
‘They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world. We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran.’
Sales, who served as Coordinator for Counterterrorism for the state department, said the military will need to take stronger action to stop the attacks.
‘Instead of blowing up empty munition’s depots in the desert in the middle of the night, you’re going to actually have to take action and take strikes against the people responsible for these attacks,’ he said.
‘And that doesn’t just mean the proxies. That also means the Iranian puppet masters, the ones who are pulling the strings.’
Sales said, ‘It’s only a matter of time before one of these Iranian proxies gets lucky and actually causes fatalities. At least 50 American soldiers have been injured during this Iranian-backed terror campaign.’
‘The time to prevent this kind of attack, the time to establish deterrence is now when we can gain the upper hand and maintain dominance in terms of the escalation ladder.’
‘The message they’ve gotten is it’s open season on Americans in the Middle East and the White House is not going to take action to protect them,’ Sales said.
The Pentagon confirmed that Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney – stationed in the waters between Africa and Asia – was under attack.
On October 19, images showed the US vessel defending itself against a combination of Iran-backed Houthi missiles and aerial vehicles – which it successfully shot down.
Photos taken on October 19 show the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) defeat a combination of Houthi missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles in the Red Sea
Yemen’s Houthi rebels later took credit for attacking two ships – without saying they were American – one with a missile and one with a drone.
Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree said the attacks would continue as long as Israel remains at war with Hamas in Gaza.
The Pentagon said on Sunday morning: ‘We´re aware of reports regarding attacks on the USS Carney and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and will provide information as it becomes available.’
Sales suggested adding Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis back to the terrorist organization list after they were removed shortly after Biden took office.
He said, ‘What else do they need to do for us to designate them as a terrorist organization? That’s actually something we did during the Trump administration.’
‘Within weeks of taking office, the Biden administration took them off the terror list, maybe they need to reconsider that and put them back on.’
On November 21, national security spokesman John Kirby said the administration is considering adding the Houthis back to the list after they seizure the cargo ship Galaxy Leader, which has ties to Israel.
‘In light of the recent targeting of civilians by the Houthis, and now the piracy of a ship in international waters, we have begun a review of potential terrorist designations and we’ll be considering other options together with our allies and partners as well,’ said Kirby.
Biden lifted the designation early in his presidency because it hampered efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to war-torn Yemen.
Houthi rebels have been launching a series of attacks on vessels in the Red Sea – as well as launching drones and missiles targeting Israel as it wages war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Just last week, Iran-backed Houthi rebels fired missiles at a US Navy destroyer off the coast of Yemen in a ‘significant escalation’ with American forces.
The USS Mason had responded to a distress call on Sunday from an Israeli-linked chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden that had been seized by armed rebels.
The Central Park tanker was carrying a cargo of phosphoric acid when its crew called for help, saying ‘they were under attack from an unknown entity’.
On Sunday, the Pentagon said: ‘We´re aware of reports regarding attacks on the USS Carney (pictured in Jacksonville, Florida) and commercial vessels in the Red Sea’
The US is considering adding the Houthi back to the terrorist organization list after they seized the Galaxy Leader. Pictured: several Houthi fighters being dropped off on the Galaxy Leader
Allied ships from a counter-piracy task force that operates in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia, including the USS Mason, responded to the call for help and ‘demanded the release of the vessel’ upon reaching the tanker.
‘Subsequently, five armed individuals debarked the ship and attempted to flee via their small boat,’ the US Central Command said in a statement, adding: ‘The Mason pursued the attackers resulting in their eventual surrender.’
Hours later, at 1:41 a.m. local time, two ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi-controlled Yemen then landed near the US warship – a guided-missile destroyer, raising the stakes amid a series of ship attacks linked to the Israel-Hamas war.
Both missiles fell short by 10 nautical miles and landed in the water.
The tanker hijacked last Sunday was identified as the Liberian-flagged Central Park by the vessel’s company Zodiac Maritime after its seizure.