U.S. NAVY SEIZES ATTACKERS WHO HELD ISRAEL-LINKED TANKER
Armed assailants seized and later let go of a tanker linked to Israel off the coast of Yemen on Sunday before being apprehended by the United States Navy, officials said. Two ballistic missiles fired from Houthi-controlled Yemen then landed near a U.S. warship aiding the tanker in the Gulf of Aden, raising the stakes amid a series of ship attacks linked to the Israel-hamas war. Yemen's internationally recognized government blamed the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels for the attack, though the rebels in control of the capital, Sanaa, did not acknowledge either the seizure or the missile attack.
The attackers seized the Liberian-flagged Central Park, managed by Zodiac Maritime, in the Gulf of Aden, the company, the U.S. and British militaries and private intelligence firm Ambrey said. The U.S. military's Central Command said in a statement early Monday that its forces and allies, including the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Mason, responded to the seizure and demanded the armed assailants release the tanker. “Subsequently, five armed individuals debarked the ship and attempted to flee via their small boat,” Central Command said. “The Mason pursued the attackers resulting in their eventual surrender.” The Central Command did not identify the attackers, but said a missile launch from Houthi-controlled Yemen followed early Monday morning.