- White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan pointed a finger at Iran when discussing Sunday’s attacks on commercial ships by the Houthis
- ‘We have every reason to believe that these attacks while they were launched by the Houthis in Yemen are fully enabled by Iran,’ he said Monday
- The USS Carney shot down three drones coming in its direction as it responded to distress calls from the commercial chips
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Monday pointed a finger at Iran when discussing the attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea at the hands of Houthi rebels.
On Sunday, ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis struck three commercial ships, while the American warship, the USS Carney, downed three drones that were headed in its direction.
Sullivan echoed that it remained unclear whether the Carney was the intended target of the three unmanned aerial vehicles but said the incident ‘is truly a source of global concerns and a threat to international peace and stability.’
‘We will continue as we move forward to consult very closely with allies and partners to determine and take all appropriate responses,’ Sullivan said.
‘We have every reason to believe that these attacks while they were launched by the Houthis in Yemen are fully enabled by Iran,’ he added.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Monday pointed a finger at Iran when discussing the attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea at the hands of Houthi rebels
The USS Carney (pictured) shot down three drones as ballistic missiles being fired from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen attacked three commercial ships on Sunday
The attack continues a pattern of escalation since the advent of the Israeli-Hamas war.
On Sunday, the Carney detected a ballistic missile being fired from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen toward a Bahamas-flagged commercial ship named the Unity Explorer.
That missile missed the ship and a short time later the Carney shot down a drone headed its way.
A second missile hit the Unity Explorer, while the Carney shot down a second drone as it responded to the Unity Explorer’s distress call, according to Central Command’s report.
The Unity Explorer only suffered minor damage from the missile strike.
Two other commercial carriers, the Panamanian-flagged Number 9 and Sophie II, were also hit by missiles.
The Carney shot down a third drone as the warship responded to the Sophie II’s distress call.
The Sophie II reported no significant damage, while Number 9 reported some damage from the missile strikes.
No casualties occurred.
Sullivan said at Monday’s press briefing that the vessels were connected to 14 different nations – but they weren’t necessary tied to Israel.
‘I can’t answer that definitively but we don’t think so. We do not believe that all three of the ships have ties to Israel and it goes to show you the level of recklessness that the Houthis are operating on,’ Sullivan said.
‘Any ship they shoot at, whether it’s Israeli-owned or has some connection in the past to Israel, that doesn’t make it any more of a justifiable target under international law than if the ship didn’t have ties to Israel,’ he added.
One remedy that is on the table, he said, are what are referred to as maritime task forces, when military vessels from a coalition of countries would escort commercial ships through this portion of the Red Sea.
Sullivan noted ‘that would be a natural part of the comprehensive response to what we’re seeing here.’
The top national security official said that the Biden administration wanted to build a coalition to deal with this issue with ‘as much buy-in from as many countries as possible.’
‘This is an issue for the entire world,’ he said, while also reiterating who’s ultimately responsible.
‘We are talking about the Houthis here, they are the ones with the finger on the trigger, that gun, the weapons here are being supplied by Iran and Iran, we believe, is the ultimate party responsible for this,’ Sullivan said.