US Navy warship targeted in Gulf of Aden; Yemeni Armed Forces spox

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has taken a new and alarming turn as, for the first time, a US Navy vessel has been targeted instead of a commercial ship.

Yemen’s Houthis said they launched a missile attack on the US Navy ship USS Lewis B. Puller in the Gulf of Aden, without offering evidence.

USS Lewis B. Puller, formerly USNS Lewis B. Puller is the first purpose-built expeditionary mobile base vessel (previously classified as a mobile landing platform, and then as an afloat forward staging base) for the United States navy.

The U.S. navy converted USNS Lewis B. Puller to a U.S. naval warship, commissioning the Expeditionary Sea Base, USS Lewis B. Puller during a ceremony in Bahrain on August 17, 2017.

The attack, if confirmed by American defense officials, marks a significant escalation in the conflict, raising concerns about the safety of international maritime routes and the potential for further violence.

Houthi spokesperson of the Yemeni armed forces Yahya Saree said in a statement it fired a missile at the Puller in the Gulf of Aden. He offered no evidence.

Houthi attacks will continue “until the aggression is stopped, and the siege is lifted on the people of Palestine in the Gaza Strip,” Saree said in the statement.

The Houthis have previously launched missiles that did not reach their intended target, instead crashing down onto the land or sea.

The attack on the US Navy ship comes at a time when tensions between the United States and Iran are already high.

The two countries have been engaged in a series of confrontations, including the recent attack against U.S. and Coalition Forces in Northeastern Jordan Near the Syria Border.

Lloyd J. Austin III, secretary of defense, commented on the attack: “I am outraged and deeply saddened by the deaths of three of our U.S. service members and the wounding of other American troops in an attack last night against U.S. and Coalition forces, who were deployed to a site in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border to work for the lasting defeat of ISIS.

“These brave Americans and their families are in my prayers, and the entire Department of Defense mourns their loss. 

“Iran-backed militias are responsible for these continued attacks on U.S. forces, and we will respond at a time and place of our choosing.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed the allegation of Iran’s connection with an attack on US troops in Jordan, reiterating that the regional resistance forces do not take orders from Iran, as semi-official news agency in Iran, Tasnim news agency reported yesterday.

The attack on the Lewis B Puller, if confirmed, could further exacerbate these tensions and potentially lead to a broader conflict.