(Patriot.Buzz) – In a successful rescue operation showcasing the skills of our Navy, a U.S. warship effectively thwarted an attempted hijacking of a commercial vessel in waters south of Yemen, leading to the surrender of the unidentified pirates.
The U.S.S. Mason, a guided-missile destroyer, was part of the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group operating in the Arabian Gulf under the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). This intervention aligns with CENTCOM’s broader mission to deter attacks on U.S. troops in the Middle East.
Responding to a distress call from the merchant ship M/V Central Park, the Mason, accompanied by allied ships and aircraft from a U.S.-led counter-piracy task force stationed off the Somali coast, confronted the hijackers on board the vessel.
When the hijackers attempted to escape in a small boat, the Mason pursued and ultimately compelled their surrender, as per CENTCOM’s report.
In further developments, the Pentagon clarified that the attackers were Somali pirates not affiliated with the Iran-backed Houthi militant group active in Yemen. However, Politico reported that the Houthi rebels had hijacked an Israel-linked commercial ship, the Galaxy Leader, and have been involved in missile and drone attacks against Israel.
The Mason and the Central Park recently faced another potential threat, likely from the Houthis. Two ballistic missiles launched from Houthi-controlled regions in Yemen headed towards their location in the Gulf of Aden.
The missiles landed harmlessly into the sea, about ten nautical miles away from the ships. CENTCOM confirmed that no damage or injuries resulted from this incident. The Central Park, under a Liberian flag and carrying phosphoric acid, had a crew of 22 onboard at the time.
Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla of CENTCOM emphasized the importance of maritime security for regional stability, committing to collaboration with allies and partners to protect international shipping lanes.
Investigations are ongoing to determine if Iran was involved in the hijacking attempt and its possible connection to the recent escalation in regional tensions since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7.
The New York Times also reported that the Central Park, managed by Zodiac Maritime of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group, had been previously attacked.