Biden’s Tepid Response to Houthi Attacks in Red Sea Called Out by Pentagon Officials

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Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fired missiles and drones at three commercial vessels and a U.S. warship in the Red Sea from their bases in Yemen.

The USS Carney fired back, knocking three drones out of the sky. However, the threat to the free navigation of shipping in international waters is growing. And Joe Biden isn’t doing much about it.

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He’s not acknowledging the threat because to do so would require him to commit U.S. forces to do something about it. That would potentially widen the war and draw America closer to the fighting.

“If our ships see something is coming near them or toward them, they are going to assess it as a threat and shoot it down,”  a DOD official told Politico. “You’d be hard-pressed to find another time” U.S. ships have been this challenged in the region.

Does the commander-in-chief have our Navy’s back? It’s a question I’m sure the front-line forces in the Red Sea and Eastern Mediterranean would like answered. 

“People are thinking this is an Israel thing, and because they are heavy-handed in Gaza no one is saying anything,” the official said. “The world should be condemning this.”

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the U.S. “cannot assess” that the USS Carney was the target of the attacks. That’s tommyrot.  According to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the battle between the Houthi rebels and the Carney lasted five hours and at least one other ship was hit.

But the administration “cannot assess” that a U.S. warship came under attack?

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The Number Nine “was struck by a missile fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen” but “reported damage and no casualties,” CENTCOM reported. The Sophie II was also “struck by a missile” but it is unclear if there were casualties or damage to the ship.

Additionally, an unnamed U.S. official told The Associated Press that the attack “had gone on for as much as five hours.”

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree claimed credit for the attack on the Unity Explorer and Number Nine.

“The first ship was targeted with a naval missile and the second ship with a naval drone,” Saree claimed

“We are not hesitating to take action against forces or militia groups that could be a threat to our forces,” the official said.

“This is not just a U.S. problem. This is an international problem,” Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at an event in Washington on Monday. “There’s undoubtedly an Iranian hand in this. So this looks a little bit like horizontal escalation.”

Grady called the attack on commercial shipping in the Red Sea “a big deal” and added, “This is very much an expansion of perhaps the larger conflict between Israel and Hamas.” That’s a different take than previous Pentagon comments that earlier Iran-backed attacks are entirely separate from the Hamas-Israel war.

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“We have every reason to believe these attacks, while they were launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran,” Sullivan told reporters Monday, reiterating a statement by Centcom.

Related: Some Investors May Have Had Advance Knowledge of Hamas Attack and Raked in the Profits

Iran can’t seriously want a war with the United States. In continually using their proxies to attack our assets in the region, they are careful not to make the attacks overly deadly. It’s almost as if they know how much pain the U.S. will tolerate before we retaliate.

In Biden’s case, he can apparently tolerate a lot.

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