Iran says a US-backed Red Sea security task force would create ‘extraordinary problems’ #Iran #USbacked #Red #Sea #security #task #force #create #extraordinary #problems

Iran is warning Thursday that a proposed U.S.-backed task force to protect ships from being attacked in the Red Sea would cause “extraordinary problems” in the region. 

The comments from Iran’s Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani — published by the Iranian Student News Agency, according to Reuters — come after a U.S. defense official said the Navy destroyer USS Mason shot down a Houthi drone coming out of Yemen on Wednesday. 

“If they make such an irrational move, they will be faced with extraordinary problems,” Ashtiani was quoted as saying. “Nobody can make a move in a region where we have predominance.” 

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said earlier this week that “the actions that we’ve seen from these Houthi forces are disturbing [and] rising” following a missile attack on a Norwegian commercial tanker in the Red Sea on Monday. 

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Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani

Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani reacts during a meeting of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the Miraflores Palace, in Caracas, Venezuela, on June 12, 2023. He was quoted by Iranian media on Thursday speaking out against the idea of a U.S.-backed task force to protect ships traveling through the Red Sea. (Reuters/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria)

“They’re dangerous and clearly a flagrant violation of international law. And so this is an international problem that requires an international solution. We do continue to consult closely with our international allies and partners on implementing a maritime task force,” Ryder said during a press briefing. 

In Wednesday’s incident, which happened around 8 a.m. in Yemen, the drone that was shot down by American forces was headed toward the USS Mason, which was responding to reports that the Houthi rebels were attacking the tanker Ardmore Encounter by using skiffs and then firing two missiles that missed, according to the official. No damage or injuries were initially reported, and the Ardmore Encounter went on its way. 

A Pentagon official confirmed to Fox News that the two missiles were anti-ship ballistic missiles fired from ground-based locations in Yemen.  

US DESTROYER IN RED SEA SHOOTS DOWN ANOTHER HOUTHI DRONE 

The USS Carney in the Mediterranean Sea

The USS Carney is seen in the Mediterranean Sea on Oct. 23, 2018. The ship shot down a Houthi drone in late November, a military official confirmed to Fox News at the time. (AP)

On Monday, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported that USS Mason responded after a Houthi missile hit a Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea.  

Yemen’s Houthi movement claimed responsibility for that attack a day later, saying they struck the Norwegian tanker with a rocket in its latest protest against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. 

The incidents come more than a week after CENTCOM reported there were four attacks against three separate commercial vessels operating in international waters in the southern Red Sea on Dec. 3.  

USS Mason in NYC

The USS Mason, shown here in New York City in May 2006, responded to an incident in the Red Sea on Monday.   (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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On Nov. 29, an Iranian-made Houthi drone was also shot down by U.S. Navy destroyer USS Carney, a military official confirmed to Fox News then.  

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

#Iran #USbacked #Red #Sea #security #task #force #create #extraordinary #problems

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