In a daring maritime rescue, a U.S. Navy destroyer successfully intercepted and detained five individuals attempting to execute a terrorist hijack of an Israeli-owned chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday.
The Liberian-flagged tanker Central Park, managed by U.K.-based Zodiac Maritime, which is part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group, was the target of the attempted hijacking, according to The Daily Wire.
Fox News reported that U.S. Navy personnel with the USS Mason captured the five individuals as they were fleeing toward Yemen. The incident received additional attention as it was the second attempt in recent days to seize the tanker, following an earlier attempt by Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists.
U.S. Central Command released a statement explaining that the USS Mason, allied ships from the counter-piracy task force coalition, and aircraft responded to “a distress call from the M/V CENTRAL PARK,” a commercial vessel that reported it was “under attack” by an unidentified “entity.”
“Upon arrival, coalition elements demanded release of the vessel. Subsequently, five armed individuals debarked the ship and attempted to flee via their small boat,” Central Command stated. “The MASON pursued the attackers resulting in their eventual surrender. The crew of the M/V CENTRAL PARK is currently safe.”
While Central Command did not immediately reveal the identity of the attackers, it did acknowledge that two ballistic missiles were launched from parts of Yemen controlled by the Houthi.
“At approximately 0141 on Nov. 27 Sanaa time, two ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen toward the general location of the USS MASON (DDG 87) and M/V CENTRAL PARK,” Central Command stated. “The missiles landed in the Gulf of Aden approximately ten nautical miles from the ships. The USS MASON (DDG87), which is part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, was concluding its response to the M/V CENTRAL PARK distress call at the time of the missile launches.”
Central Command noted that there were no injuries, and no damage was reported from either ship. The timely response by the U.S. Navy to the distress call not only thwarted the hijackers’ plans but also emphasized the strategic collaboration among international naval forces in ensuring maritime security.
“Maritime domain security is essential to regional stability,” Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, CENTCOM commander, said. “We will continue to work with allies and partners to ensure the safety and security of international shipping lanes.”
This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.