JERUSALEM — Two American-flagged ships carrying cargo for the U.S. Defense and State departments came under attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels on Wednesday, officials said, with the U.S. Navy intercepting some of the incoming fire.
The attacks on the container ships Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake further raise the stakes of the group's ongoing attacks on shipping through the vital Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The U.S. and the United Kingdom have launched multiple rounds of airstrikes seeking to stop the attacks.
Danish shipper Maersk, in a statement to The Associated Press, identified two of its vessels affected by the attacks as the U.S.-flagged container ships Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake. It said the U.S. Navy was accompanying its ships at the time.
“While en route, both ships reported seeing explosions close by and the U.S. Navy accompaniment also intercepted multiple projectiles,” Maersk said. “The crew, ship, and cargo are safe and unharmed. The U.S. Navy has turned both ships around and is escorting them back to the Gulf of Aden.”
Maersk said both vessels carried cargo belonging to the U.S. Defense and State Departments, as well as other government agencies, meaning they were “afforded the protection of the U.S….