US warship cruising Red Sea shoots down attack drones fired from Yemen

US assets in the Middle East have come under increasing threat since the war in Gaza broke out.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (C) sails during a Suez Canal transit [File: Handout/Sophie A Pinkham/US Navy via Reuters]Published On 23 Nov 202323 Nov 2023

A US warship cruising the Red Sea has shot down drones fired from Houthi-held territory in Yemen, according to the US Central Command.

The USS Thomas Hudner, a guided-missile destroyer, shot down “multiple one-way attack drones” launched on Thursday morning from Yemen’s Houthi-controlled areas, CENTCOM said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

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CENTCOM said there was no damage to the US vessel or injuries to its crew.

‘Until Israeli aggression stops’

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have declared themselves part of the “axis of resistance” of Iran’s allies and launched a series of drones and missiles towards Israel since the start of the war in Gaza.

On Wednesday, Israel said it had intercepted a “cruise missile” heading for the south of the country, a shot claimed by the Houthi rebels.

The spokesperson for the Houthis’ armed wing, Yahya Saree, said such operations would continue “until the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank stops”.

The Houthis have also threatened to target Israeli shipping over the country’s war with the Palestinian group Hamas that rules Gaza.

On Sunday, the Houthis seized an Israel-linked cargo vessel with an international crew of 25 at the entrance to the Red Sea.

Israel’s military on Sunday said the seizure was a “very grave incident of global consequence”, and a US military official said it was “a flagrant violation of international law”.

Targeting US positions

US assets in the Middle East have also come under fire since the Gaza war erupted on October 7.

US forces deployed in Iraq and Syria have been attacked at least 66 times during this time, causing injuries to more than 60 personnel, the Pentagon has said.

On Wednesday, the US announced its first significant retaliatory strikes on Iran-backed armed groups targeting it in Iraq, striking several positions of the Kataib Hezbollah militia, also known as Hezbollah Brigades, south of Bagdad, killing at least eight fighters.

Iraq’s government condemned the assault as an “unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty”, saying the US had not coordinated with it in advance.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies