GOP Senator Suggests Destroying Iranian Ships in Response to Houthi Attacks

Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger holds a Political Science and History BS and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration. Before his time at Atlas he joined GoodPolitical to serve as a writer and contributor while also expanding his knowledge on global events. Matthew is proud to be a part of a news organization that believes in delivering truthful, unfiltered, and unbiased news to people around the world.

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What Happened: 

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden suggesting that the U.S. should threaten to sink Iranian ships if the Houthi’s continue attacking American troops in the Red Sea. Sen. Sullivan is a member of the Armed Services Committee and has been following the issue.

For weeks, Houthi rebels have harassed shipping lanes and naval vessels to provoke a cease-fire on the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Over the last few weeks, headlines have been rolling in as Houthis ramped up the targeting of commercial shipping and damaged a few ships. There have been drone or missile attacks almost daily since the beginning of December 2023.

The Details:

In Sen. Sullivan’s letter, he requests President Biden to “tell Iran that the next Houthi missile or drone launched at an American ship will result in the sinking of Iran’s spy ships that target our Navy,” before continuing to say, “If we ever expect Tehran to call off its terrorist proxies and make deterrence more than a temporary respite, Iran must be made to pay a price.”

This letter came after a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting where the Chief of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Erik Kurilla, stated that Iran has not been deterred from assisting Houthi strikes on commercial and military vessels. U.S. intelligence notes that Iran is sending deconstructed weaponry components into Yemen for the Houthi’s to build themselves.

The Houthi strikes have exacted a cost on global shipping as major commercial and oil firms have refused to go through the region, skyrocketing certain prices. Last week, a commercial vessel was struck and three crew members were killed, followed by a separate attack a few days later where American forces reported the destruction of 25–30 drones and missiles targeted at them.

Sen. Sullivan implied that Gen. Kurilla could order attacks to sink Iranian vessels after the attacks, but the general stated that was inaccurate and that it would take an order from President Biden. The general also answered that he has provided President Biden with a broad range of options while also identifying the risk of escalation in different areas.

What’s Next:

The U.S. and allied nations have put a military presence in the Red Sea to deter and respond to Houthi attacks. There have also been some retaliatory responses from the U.S. and Britain, but nothing on the scale of the attacks. The Houthi’s have promised to keep up attacks to ensure that ships cannot go to the occupied Palestinian port. They have also promised to continue confronting any U.S. coalition in the area.

As of now, it does not look like the attacks will end anytime soon. They have claimed some lives and some ships and will continue to attempt to do so until a cease-fire is negotiated. The coalition forces will also likely remain in the area and conduct joint escort and security operations until the attacks cease.