A US Navy ship, assisted by a Japanese destroyer, the USS Mason, responded to a distress call from a commercial tanker in Middle Eastern waters:

  • the Central Park is a small chemical tanker, carrying a cargo of phosphoric acid
  • had been seized by 5 armed pirates, they have been apprehended
  • an armed U.S. Navy helicopter provided overwatch
  • US officials say the tanker has now been freed
  • incident occurred in the Gulf of Aden

Further reports indicate that 2 Chinese warships in the area did not respond to the request for assistance.

Last week:

gulf aden piracy 27 November 2023 2

So far these examples of small-scale escalation in the Middle East have been contained.