Fatalities Reported, Crew Abandons Ship After Houthi Missile Attack; US & Allies Sending Warships 

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Mar 06, 2024 - 06:45 PM

Attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea continue to escalate and risk sparking a regional conflict as President Biden's Operation Prosperity Guardian to shield ships from Iran-backed Houthi attacks miserably fails. The latest incident involves a commodity ship hit by at least one anti-ship ballistic missile in the Gulf of Aden, close to the Bab al-Mandab Strait, marking the first fatality of crew members of the multi-month Red Sea crisis. 

"Two killed and six injured in a Houthi missile strikes on the MV True Confidence, a Liberian-owned vessel, in the Red Sea today, per two US officials," Politico's Pentagon reporter Lara Seligman posted on X. 

Seligman said, "These are the first fatalities of the Houthi campaign against international shipping since November."

A US Department of Defense source told the journalist that "no Americans were on board" the vessel at the time of the incident. 

"The 23 crew members were forced to abandon the ship, which was damaged but has not sunk yet," she said.

Seligman added: "Coalition warships have responded and are assessing the situation," including an "American guided-missile cruiser." 

Maritime tracking data via Bloomberg shows True Confidence abruptly turned before the Bab al-Mandab Strait on Tuesday, around 1900 local time. There is reason to believe the missile attack was around that time. 

Responding to the latest vessel incident, David Asher, a senior fellow at Hudson Institute, explained: 

"The Houthis are bought, paid for, and directed by Tehran, and are upping the terrorist ante by seeking to shut down the Red Sea. Tehran sees weakness in the US government and indifference among the Europeans (who rely on these cargos). It's a recipe for a widening zone of conflict that likely will spread into the Persian Gulf." 

The rapidly expanding Red Sea crisis comes days after the bulk carrier Rubymar sunk after being hit by missiles last month, and a suspected Iranian 'spy ship' was lingering around the area where undersea communications were severed