According to military officials, three small boats transporting Houthi militants were sunk in the Red Sea on Sunday after U.S. warships responded to a distress call from a merchant vessel.
In response, U.S. Navy helicopters fired back and sank the vessels.
The Singapore-flagged Hangzhou, a Maersk container ship, reportedly transmitted a distress signal at approximately 6:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command.
According to the merchant vessel, it was under attack by four small watercraft.
According to U.S. officials, helicopters from the USS Eisenhower and the USS Gravely responded to the small vessels with verbal commands.
According to U.S. officials, service members aboard Navy helicopters returned fire and sank three of the four small boats, murdering the crews. A fourth vessel evaded the vicinity.
On “Good Morning America” on Sunday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stated that the United States has no intention of escalating the conflict.
The Hangzhou had issued a distress call twice within twenty-four hours prior to the incident on Sunday, according to U.S. Navy officials.
Saturday evening, approximately 55 nautical miles southwest of Al Hudaydah, Yemen, the vessel was struck by an unidentified object, according to a Maersk spokesperson.