An American warship shot down a drone heading towards it in the Red Sea while answering a distress call from a commercial vessel, two defence officials have said.
Earlier today, the Pentagon said it was aware of reports the USS Carney and other commercial vessels had come under attack in the area. Now, two officials have told our US partner site NBC News the Carney “destroyed one Houthi drone headed in their direction while in the southern Red Sea”.
The Carney subsequently responded to their distress call. While assisting the Unity Explorer, the Carney shot down another Houthi drone that was headed in the direction of both the Carney and Unity Explorer.” The official added that “multiple commercial vessels in the Red Sea were attacked by Houthi missiles today”.
This took place over several hours, and there were no injuries or damage to US vessels, they said. Another US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AP the attack began about 10am in Sanaa, Yemen, and had gone on for as long as five hours.
It comes after the UK’s Maritime Trade Operations agency said it had received reports of a drone attack in the Red Sea’s Bab al-Mandab strait. Earlier, it reported drone activity that originated from Yemen, as well as a possible explosion, and called on vessels in the area to be cautious.
The Houthi militant group later claimed to have targeted two Israeli ships in the Red Sea, A spokesperson for the group’s military said it launched a naval missile on one of the vessels and targeted the other with an armed drone.
Brigadier General Yahya Saree named the two ships as the Unity Explorer and Number Nine and said they were targeted after they rejected warnings from the group’s navy. The group is an ally of Iran and controls most of Yemen’s Red Sea coast. It has previously fired ballistic missiles and armed drones at Israel and vowed to target more Israeli vessels.