In a continuation of developments regarding the attempted hijacking of the M/V Central Park, Fox News Chief National Security Correspondent Jen Griffin has reported that US officials now assess that the target of the two Houthi missiles fired on Sunday was likely the Israeli-linked tanker and not the USS Mason “based on the trajectory of the missiles.”
US officials now assess that the target of the 2 Houthi ballistic missiles fired Sunday was more likely the MV Central Park, an Israeli linked vessel and less likely the USS Mason based on the trajectory of the missiles. MORE
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) November 27, 2023
She went on to add that “only one of the two ballistic missiles splashed down in the ocean – 10 nautical miles from the USS Mason and 5 miles from the MV Central Park. The second ballistic missile blew up mid air.” citing unnamed US officials.
The Central Park is managed by Zodiac Maritime, a U.K.-based company with ties to the billionaire Israeli Ofer family. The Houthis have previously pledged to target any Israeli owned or operated vessels in the waters around Yemen.
On November 26, the Liberian-flagged M/V Central Park was approached and boarded by gunmen, later identified as Somali pirates, off the coast of Yemen in the Gulf of Aden.
As the crew barricaded themselves in the ship’s citadel, distress signals were made and eventually received by United States Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Mason and other vessels of the international counter-piracy coalition, Task Force 151.
On Nov. 26, the USS MASON (DDG 87), with allied ships from our coalition counter-piracy task force (TF 151), and associated aircraft responded to a distress call from the M/V CENTRAL PARK, a commercial vessel, that they were under attack by an unknown entity. Upon arrival,… pic.twitter.com/ASmM3b0xrf
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) November 27, 2023
Unable to take control of the Central Park as the task force arrived, the gunmen attempted to flee the area on a small boat, but were pursued and apprehended by the crew of the USS Mason.
CENTCOM then reported that on November 27, at approximately 0141 local time, two ballistic missiles were “fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen toward the general location of the USS MASON (DDG 87) and M/V CENTRAL PARK.”
The missiles, however, fell short and “landed in the Gulf of Aden approximately ten nautical miles from the ships.” There were no reports of damage or injuries from the launches.