In a significant escalation of the ongoing attacks on shipping in the strategically crucial Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the container ships Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake, owned by Danish shipper Maersk, have come under fire. The U.S. and the United Kingdom responded with multiple rounds of airstrikes in an attempt to thwart these attacks.

Qatar, a major global exporter of liquefied natural gas, issued a warning that its deliveries are being impacted by continuous Houthi attacks. These attacks are believed to be linked to Israel's conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Maersk, in a statement to The Associated Press, confirmed the attacks on its vessels and identified them as the U.S.-flagged container ships Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake. The U.S. Navy was accompanying both ships at the time of the incidents.

While en route, both vessels reported witnessing explosions nearby, with the U.S. Navy intercepting multiple projectiles, according to Maersk. Fortunately, the crew, ship, and cargo remain safe and unharmed. The U.S. Navy has redirected both ships, escorting them back to the Gulf of Aden.

MSC Aries raided by Iranian commandos near Strait of Hormuz MSC Aries raided by Iranian commandos near Strait of Hormuz

Maersk specified that the attacked vessels were transporting cargo for the U.S. Defense and State Departments, along with other government agencies. This designation afforded them the protection of the U.S. Navy for passage through the strait. In response to the attacks, Maersk Line, the U.S. subsidiary of Maersk, has announced the suspension of transits in the region until further notice.

The U.S. military's Central Command placed blame on the Houthi rebel group for the attack, stating that they fired "three anti-ship ballistic missiles." One missile impacted the sea, while the USS Gravely, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, successfully engaged and shot down the other two missiles. The situation in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait remains tense, with international efforts underway to address the growing threat to maritime security.