US Navy Evacuates Injured Mariner From Houthi-Attacked Cargo Ship Set Ablaze By Missiles 

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jun 14, 2024 - 11:45 AM

Chaos in the Red Sea region continued into the latter part of the week, with the US military rescuing an injured civilian mariner from a cargo ship attacked by Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The situation underscores the ongoing disruption in the key maritime chokepoint as some have viewed the Biden administration's Operation Prosperity Guardian as a colossal failure. 

Overnight, US Central Command (CENTCOM) released a statement about M/V Verbena — a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated bulk cargo vessel — that was hit with two anti-ship cruise missiles, sparking a fire aboard the ship in the Gulf of Aden area. 

"M/V Verbena reported damage and subsequent fires on board. The crew continues to fight the fire. One civilian mariner was severely injured during the attack," CENTCOM wrote. 

CENTCOM continued, "Aircraft from USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) medically evacuated the injured mariner to a partner force ship nearby for medical attention." 

In a separate statement, USCENTCOM detailed how its forces had a busy week, successfully destroying one air defense sensor in a Houthi-controlled area of Yemem, an uncrewed surface vessel in the Red Sea, two patrol boats in the Red Sea, and one uncrewed aerial system in the Red Sea. 

On Wednesday, the Greek cargo ship Tutor was hit by a drone boat attack. This is one of the first instances of Houthis using remote-controlled surface vessels against commercial shipping vessels. 

According to a new report released Thursday, the Defense Intelligence Agency said traffic through the Red Sea has declined by about 90% since mid-February. 

The Middle East Eye recently obtained a document from the International Maritime Organization that shows Houthi rebels have attacked 28 bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, cargo ships, and crude oil tankers this year.

We'll end this note with CENTCOM's frustration:

"This continued reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Houthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza and yet they are targeting and threatening the lives of third country nationals who have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza. The ongoing threat to the ability to safely transit the region caused by the Houthis makes it harder to deliver critical assistance to the people of Yemen as well as to Gaza. US CENTCOM will continue to act with partners to hold the Houthis accountable and degrade their military capabilities."

The Houthis have only been emboldened by a weak Biden administration whose disastrous foreign policy decisions have unleashed fires across the world.