Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Pentagon announced that a U.S. Navy destroyer successfully shot down three drones in the Red Sea on Sunday, indicating a potential escalation in tensions between the American military and Iranian-backed militants.

A Pentagon official confirmed that the U.S.S. Carney intercepted the drones during an attack on several commercial ships that occurred at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday. United States Central Command stated that the destroyer intercepted three drones, including one heading towards the Carney. Fortunately, no injuries or damage occurred onboard the destroyer during the attack.

Central Command’s statement attributed the attacks to areas in Yemen controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia. These attacks have been ongoing since the incident in Israel on October 7th, with the Houthis launching drones and missiles against Israeli and American targets in the Red Sea.

A Houthi military spokesperson, Yahya Sarea, claimed responsibility for targeting two Israeli ships in the Bab al-Mandeb strait off southern Yemen, but did not mention the American naval vessel. The group fired a missile at one ship and targeted a second with a drone, vowing to continue preventing Israeli ships from sailing in the region until Israel’s military ceases its aggression in Gaza.

In October, the Carney intercepted three cruise missiles and drones launched from Yemen, which the Pentagon suspected were potentially headed towards Israel.

Central Command’s statement noted that one of the drones on Sunday was heading towards the Carney, but it is unclear if the ship was the intended target. The Biden administration deployed additional military assets to the eastern Mediterranean near Israel after the Hamas attack, aiming to deter further escalation from Iran and its proxies.

The attack on Sunday highlighted the potential for the conflict in Gaza to expand into a wider conflict, with Iranian-backed militias conducting attacks against American troops in Iraq and Syria in recent months.

Central Command’s statement concluded by stating that the United States is considering appropriate responses in coordination with international allies and partners, as they believe the attacks are fully enabled by Iran.

Shuaib Almosawa contributed reporting.

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