U.S. Navy sank three Houthi rebels boat attacking merchant vessel in the Red Sea

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U.S. navy helicopters returned fire and sank three small boats in the Red Sea, which were carrying the Houthi militants on Sunday, after the United States received a distress call from a merchant vessel, said military official.

The distress call was issued by Singapore flagged Hangzhou, which sails under the company Maersk, at around 6.30 am local time, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. The merchant vessel said that four small boats were attacking it.

“The small boats, originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, fired crew-served and small-arms weapons at the Maersk Hangzhou, getting to within 20 metres of the vessel, and attempted to board the vessel,” said Central Command.

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As per the U.S. officials, two of the helicopters from U.S. ships – the USS Eisenhower and the USS Gravely – responded and issued a verbal calls to small boats.

The Central Command claimed that while the U.S. helicopters were issuing verbal warning to the small boats, it opened fire upon the helicopters with crew served weapons and small arms.