Houthis Release Names of Fighters Killed in Sunday Engagement with American Helicopters

Houthis Release Names of Fighters Killed in Sunday Engagement with American Helicopters


What to Know:

The Houthis have released the names of 10 of its fighters that were killed on Sunday when their small boats were destroyed by American helicopters following an attack against a Maersk commercial shipping vessel.

The fighters have been identified as:

  • Abdullah Muhammad Hassan Ahmed Al-Balj
  • Abdullah Muhammad Abdullah Saghir Qaraout
  • Ahmed al-Nazari Muhammad Sarhan Badr
  • Ali Abdul Abdullah Zaid Abu Talib
  • Hassan Qasim
  • Fares Muhammad Muhammad al-Ghairi
  • Abdul Malik Ismail Ahsan Talbi
  • Abdullah Hussein Hussein al-Usta
  • Mushtaq Mulatif Ahmed al-Nazari
  • Aladdin Abdullah Ahmed Hashem

The Attack:

According to the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), the Singapore-flagged Maersk Hangzhou issued two distress signals on December 31 after being attacked by four Houthi small boats, which “fired crew served and small arms weapons” at the container ship and attempted to board, prompting an onboard contract security team to return fire.

The distress signals were received by American naval assets in the region and helicopters were dispatched from the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Gravely.

CENTCOM stated that “in the process of issuing verbal calls to the small boats, the small boats fired upon the U.S. helicopters with crew served weapons and small arms. The U.S. Navy helicopters returned fire in self-defense, sinking three of the four small boats, and killing the crews. The fourth boat fled the area. There was no damage to U.S. personnel or equipment.”

Houthi Response:

Houthi spokesman Yahya Sarea released a recorded statement saying “While the naval forces of the Yemeni armed forces were exercising their regular official duties in establishing security and stability and protecting maritime navigation, in addition to performing their humanitarian and moral duty declared by Yemen to prevent Israeli ships or those heading to the ports of occupied Palestine from passing through the Red Sea, in solidarity and support for the Palestinian people, the enemy forces provided The American attack on three boats belonging to the Yemeni naval forces, which led to the martyrdom and loss of ten members of the naval forces.”

“The Yemeni armed forces, while bleeding in the midst of the battle to support the Al-Aqsa flood, these martyrs for the sake of Palestine, confirm that the American enemy bears the consequences of this crime and its repercussions, and that its military movements in the Red Sea to protect Israeli ships will not prevent Yemen from performing its religious, moral, and humanitarian duty in support and victory for the oppressed in Palestine,” he added.

Why it Matters:

This incident marked the first time that American military forces directly engaged Houthi forces and resulted in the death of fighters, marking a major escalation in the conflict amid continued attacks against commercial shipping vessels.

On January 3, the Houthis warned that “The Yemeni armed forces also confirm that any American aggression will not go unanswered or punished. The Yemeni armed forces warn the American enemy or others against any attack or action that represents the protection of commercial ships that go to the Zionist entity.”

The United States and 11 other partner nations later issued a joint statement warning the Houthis to immediately stop its attacks or “bear the responsibility of the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, and free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways.”

Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.
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