(RepublicanView.org) – Pirates who were attempting to commandeer a private trade ship in the Gulf of Aden had their plans thwarted by the US military over the weekend.
The crew, five strong, are suspected members of a Houthi rebel group. The rebels are part of an Islamic movement that was formerly led by Hussein Badr al-Din al-Houthi to rebel against the established government in Yemen. The group has been fighting a civil war for nearly a decade.
The tanker, an Israeli vessel, sent a distress call that was received by the USS Mason. It responded with several other ships, including a Japanese warship, to secure the vessel. The military also confirmed that two Chinese military ships were in the area but did not respond to requests for assistance. The pirates tried to escape in a small raft after releasing the boat. However, security forces pursued until the pirates finally surrendered.
US Central Command also confirmed that missiles were launched from a region in Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels, although it fell several miles away.
Officials believe the incident may be related to a rise in hostilities in response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Several Iranian-backed terrorist groups, including the Houthi rebels, have aligned against Israel and ramped up their attacks since the conflict began.
On November 19, Houthi rebels commandeered a British-owned cargo ship with ties to Israel as it traversed the Red Sea from Turkey to India. The armed rebels boarded the ship via helicopter and quickly took control. The group has threatened to hijack all Israeli ships in the region. US officials believed that the group responsible for that attack was funded and supported by Iran. The ship consisted of crew members from several nations, but Israel was not one of them.
The US military also confirmed that the rebel group successfully shot down a US drone on November 8 as it flew over the Red Sea.
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