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WWIII Watch: Iran-Hamas War Escalates, US Kills 10 Iranian-Backed Houthis, Sinks 3 Boats In The Red Sea

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Nimitz class nuclear-powered air craft carrier.

WASHINGTON (CC) - In an escalation of the Israel-Hamas War that could be a step towards WWIII and the conclusive Battle of Armageddon, on Sunday New Year's Eve, US Central Command announced that it had killed 10 Iran-backed Houthi Movement Shia Islamic gunmen who tried to pirate Maersk Hangzhou, a Singapore-flagged cargo ship traveling through the now internationally-protected Red Sea.

Helicopters from the USS Eisenhower, and the destroyer USS Gravely, fired on the Houthis and sank three of their militia boats, while one of the gunboats got away.

The deadly air strikes against the Houthis came in "self-defense," according to a CENTCOM statement. The choppers responded to the Maersk Hangzhou’s second distress or "SOS" call in less than 24 hours.

The Houthis, who are officially known as Ansar Allah or "Supporters of God," fired first on the arriving US forces.

CENTCOM said, “The U.S. Navy helicopters returned fire in self-defense, sinking three of the four small boats, and killing the crews. The fourth boat fled the area." There was “no damage to U.S. personnel or equipment.”

It was the first time the US has engaged in a firefight with the Houthis, who have been attacking Red Sea-traversing commercial ships, using drones and gunboats, since November.

Houthi spokesmen say their fighters are carrying out a brave offensive to stop the Israel Defense Force's massive offensive in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza.

They further claim a focus on thwarting Israel-linked ships.

Their consistent attacks on commercial vessels have led some companies to cease sailing through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait - a narrow passage that separates Yemen from Ethiopia, and also connects the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean to the southern Red Sea, as well as to the Suez Canal to the far north near Egypt.

SANA'A, YEMEN - JANUARY 01, 2024: Yemen's Houthi followers carrying their rifles chant slogans as they visit the tomb of Saleh al-Samad, the former Houthi-founded Supreme Political Council's president. The United States has reported that plans are prepared by Pentagon officials to launch military operations in aerial attacks on Houthi-run facilities in Yemen, which was followed by the UK announcement that its armed forces are ready to join the US and potentially go to war in Yemen. (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

The Houthis are now in control of much of Yemen after overthrowing the government. Since 2014, the rebels have been fighting in Yemen's brutal civil war versus government forces that are backed by Sunni Muslim Saudi-Arabia.

Saudi and Iran agreed on a detente, in 2023, that was mediated by China. Saudi has also recently been exploring a detente with Israel, mediated by the US.

The distance between Jerusalem and the Red Sea, by road, ranges from 154 - 180 miles.

Bordered on the north by the Sinai Peninsula and the Middle East, on the east by Arabia and Yemen, and on the west by northeast Africa, the Read Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean located to its south.

US warships are patrolling the Sea as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian, announced in a statement from Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III almost two weeks ago. He vowed to ensure freedom of commerce, navigation and to uphold international law in the area:

Here is his statement, in full, released on December 18, 2023:

"The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners, and violates international law. The Red Sea is a critical waterway that has been essential to freedom of navigation and a major commercial corridor that facilitates international trade. Countries that seek to uphold the foundational principle of freedom of navigation must come together to tackle the challenge posed by this non-state actor launching ballistic missiles and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) at merchant vessels from many nations lawfully transiting international waters."

"This is an international challenge that demands collective action. Therefore, today I am announcing the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian, an important new multinational security initiative under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces and the leadership of its Task Force 153, which focuses on security in the Red Sea."

"Operation Prosperity Guardian is bringing together multiple countries to include the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain, to jointly address security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with the goal of ensuring freedom of navigation for all countries and bolstering regional security and prosperity."

Many Christians and Jews know well the Holy Bible's story about how Jehovah, by parting the Red Sea and allowing the Hebrew Israelites, led by Moses and Aaron, to cross over. When the Egyptian army tried to transverse the waterway, Pharaoh's forces were neutralized as the Sea reconnected.

Keeping their connection with the Houthis, Iran sent a warship into the southern Red Sea on Monday. This was an obvious escalation of the situation. Iran is bent on the destruction of Israel, and is using several of its proxies to bring about its goal.

The Houthis, the Hezbollah, plus Islamic Jihad and Hamas are all warring as allies against Israel, Iran's mortal enemy, right now. The US, Israel's staunchest ally, has for decades been Iran's other mortal enemy.

Christian Commander will keep watch on the situation as enemy combatants enter the Israel-Hamas War. Stay tuned for the latest updates, breaking news, features and insights from a Christian perspective concerning WWIII and the subsequent return of Jesus Christ.

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Jan 03
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Very informative article. Nerve wracking and disturbing but speaks facts about these combatants. Part of my prayer going into 2024 is for world peace and that love will triumph over hatred. The Bible speaks of wars and rumors of war...

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