I suppose it was only a matter of time. Both Iran and their Houthi proxies have been ignoring the limited response coming from the Biden administration and promising to continue attacks on shipping in the Red Sea until the war in Gaza ends. Now they’ve struck an American cargo ship with a missile. The Gibraltar Eagle, flying the flag of the Marshall Islands, was hit by a ballistic missile fired from Yemen. The ship reported no injuries and only limited damage as a result, but this was still an Iranian-sponsored direct attack on an American asset. The situation clearly calls for more than “private messages” and muted responses. This was an act of war. (National Review)
The Iran-backed Houthis struck a cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden on Monday, U.S. Central Command announced, in what appears to be the terror group’s first successful attack on an American-owned or operated vessel since it began targeting ships in the Red Sea in mid November.
Houthi militants based in Yemen launched an anti-ship ballistic missile at Eagle Bulk Shipping’s Gibraltar Eagle around 4 p.m. local time Monday, CENTCOM said in a statement. No injuries or significant damage were reported.
Eagle Bulk also confirmed that the “unidentified projectile” hit the Marshall Islands-flagged, U.S.-owned and operated Gibraltar Eagle about 100 miles offshore southeast of Aden, Yemen.
The missile that struck the Gibraltar Eagle was one of three that were fired in the same attack. The other two failed to reach their targets, so the Houthis clearly haven’t worked all of the bugs out of the system yet. But it’s worth noting that the ship was roughly 100 miles offshore when it was hit. Those rebels should never have been able to accurately strike a target at that distance. Unfortunately, Iran is loading them up with the type of advanced military technology that’s quickly bringing them into the big leagues. We also struck a Houthi radar station last week. They may be helpful, but it’s amazing that this group of terrorists had a radar station in the first place.
Also yesterday, the Houthis fired another missile directly at an American destroyer. Fortunately, we were able to shoot that one down, and no injuries or damage were reported. But their aim is clearly improving and it may simply be a matter of time. What will the response of the Biden administration be if the Iranian-funded rebels actually hit one of our naval vessels with a ballistic missile and (God forbid) we lose some of our troops? There must be a red line that Biden is unwilling to allow Iran to cross.
It’s being reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has officers stationed inside Yemen. They are no doubt organizing the delivery of arms and supplies and issuing orders to the Houthis. If Joe Biden doesn’t want to directly attack assets inside of Iran, he should at least be able to take out the IRGC leaders in Yemen. That seems like the bare minimum that he could do. They are openly attacking our military in a clear act of war and not even trying to hide it.
In more hopeful news, our Navy intercepted a small boat off the coast of Somalia today, locating a shipment of Iranian missile parts bound for the Houthis in Yemen. The crew lost two Navy SEALs overboard during the effort, but all of the weapons were confiscated and the ship was sunk. There were 14 crew members taken prisoner and they will be interrogated and processed elsewhere. We’re going to need to see a lot more of that sort of activity if we hope to cut off the supply of arms going to the Houthis. We’ve been in this situation before. If you hit the Houthis or the IRGC hard enough, they’ll back down, at least for a while. Iran doesn’t respect the United States, but they at least need to fear us. They do not at the moment, however, and they are acting out accordingly.