US Navy USS Gravely
© Jains Laizans/ReutersUS Navy servicemen on board the missile destroyer USS Gravely. Global shipping giant Maersk is suspending operations in the Red Sea for 48 hours after the attack.
A US Navy admiral says the conflict against the Houthis in the Red Sea is one of the largest naval battles the US has fought in decades.

"I think you'd have to go back to World War II where you have ships who are engaged in combat," Vice Adm. Brad Cooper told the "60 Minutes" host Norah O'Donnell in an interview that aired Sunday.

"When I say engaged in combat, where they're getting shot at, we're getting shot at, and we're shooting back," he continued.

Cooper, the deputy commander of the US Central Command, told CBS's "60 Minutes" that the Navy had committed about 7,000 sailors to the Red Sea. CBS reported that the Navy had fired about 100 standard surface-to-air missiles against Houthi missiles and drones.

Since mid-November, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have been attacking shipping vessels sailing through the Red Sea. These attacks, the rebels have said, are a response to the Israel-Hamas war.

Comment: They explicitly said it's because of Israel's genocide in Gaza.

Cooper said it was "crystal clear" that the Houthis couldn't have mounted those attacks without Iranian support.

"For a decade, the Iranians have been supplying the Houthis. They've been resupplying them. They're resupplying them as we sit here right now, at sea," Cooper told O'Donnell. "We know this is happening. They're advising them, and they're providing targeting information."

Comment: Even if that was true, so what? The US is arming, funding, and directly involved in multiple wars of aggression, meanwhile Yemen's actions, according to a number of analysts, are in adherence to international law and those legal obligations, because the Houthis are attempting to stop genocide.

The US has formed an international naval coalition to protect ships passing through the area in response to the attacks. Besides shooting down Houthi missiles and drones, the US has been intercepting Iran's attempts to smuggle weapons to the Houthis.

On Thursday, the US Central Command said the US Coast Guard seized more than 200 packages of illegal weapons bound for Yemen last month.

The statement said the shipment, which included ballistic missile components and explosives, had originated in Iran.

"It's very clear that we are degrading their capability. And every single day they attempt to attack us, we're eliminating and disrupting them in ways that are meaningful," Cooper told O'Donnell.