May 14, 2024

U.S. forces face another ballistic missile threat in the Red Sea

Posted May 14, 2024 9:00 AM
File photo U.S. Central Command
File photo U.S. Central Command

JERUSALEM—U.S. forces faced another series of attacks in the Red Sea Monday.

Just before 6p.m., USS Mason (DDG 87) successfully engaged and destroyed one inbound anti-ship ballistic missile launched by Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen over the Red Sea, according to the U.S. Central Command.

Additionally, US forces destroyed one drone launched by Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen over the Red Sea and earlier in the day forces successfully destroyed a drone an Iranian-backed Houthi controlled area of Yemen.  

There were no injuries or damages reported by U.S., coalition, or merchant vessels.   

Meanwhile,  White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that the U.S. administration has expressed concerns to Israeli officials about becoming “mired in a counterinsurgency campaign that never ends” as Israel's War Cabinet remains focused on carrying out a major operation the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

The comments from a top adviser to President Joe Biden came a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautioned that Israel could be left “holding the bag” on an enduring insurgency in post-war Gaza.

“Look, we have painful experience in counterinsurgency campaigns fighting terrorists in urban environments, in populated areas,” said Sullivan, referring to long U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “And we know that it is not as simple as executing a military operation and calling it a day.”

Sullivan added that, “One of the risks of engaging in any kind of counterinsurgency campaign is the ability of the terrorist group to attract more recruits and more followers as time goes on.”

Sullivan said he spoke to his Israeli and Egyptian counterparts on Sunday about redoubling diplomatic efforts on a hostage-for-truce negotiations, and that U.S. officials would have further conversations with the Israelis in the coming days about how Israel can refine its plan to go after Hamas militants in Rafah while lessening the risk to Palestinian civilians.

He also pushed back against growing criticism from around the globe — as well as American critics of Israel’s prosecution of the war — who say Israeli forces are committing a genocide against the Palestinians.

Egypt, a key U.S. ally, said it would join South Africa's case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, which accuses Israel of violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention.

“I can’t say that it’s helpful to the discussions between Egypt and Israel to try to sort through assistance and access issues,” Sullivan said of the move announced Sunday by Cairo, which along with Qatar is a mediator in the cease-fire talks.

The top United Nations court has concluded there is a “plausible risk of genocide” in Gaza — a charge Israel strongly denies.