A US Navy cruiser reportedly shot down a Yemeni drone in the waters of the Red Sea on Wednesday, per two US officials, in what seemed to be only the second occasion the US has taken down projectiles close to its battleships since the Israel-Hamas war began.
As regional tensions rise during the fight, Washington is on high alert for activities by Iran-backed groups and has been working to make sure that it doesn’t spread across the region.
The drone was shot down by an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the Thomas Hudner, per officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Officials did not specify if the drone was armed or how near it came to being shot down. The course of action was first reported by Reuters.
Yemen’s Houthi commander vowed on Tuesday that his forces would continue to assault Israel, including targeting Israeli vessels in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
The Houthis shot down a US military MQ-9 drone in international airspace last week. The Houthis, who have been at war with a Saudi-led coalition since 2015, have established themselves as a formidable military power in the Arabian Peninsula, with many thousands of fighters and a massive arsenal of ballistic missiles, including armed drones.
In the last month, the United States has sent a substantial amount of naval force to the Middle East, involving two advanced aircraft carriers, support vessels, and thousands of US troops.
In response to a series of attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria, the US has carried out three rounds of air strikes against Iran-associated militia in Syria.
Since Oct. 17, US and coalition soldiers have been assaulted a minimum of 55 times in Iraq and Syria, wounding 59 individuals, though all have resumed duty, per the Pentagon.
According to statements supposedly from the militant groups accountable, the attacks are in retribution for US support for Israel in the Gaza war.
According to Reuters, the US military is adopting extra measures to safeguard its Middle East personnel during an increase in assaults by suspected Iran-backed organizations. It is considering relocating military families if necessary.
Per authorities, the steps include strengthening US military patrols, restricting accessibility to base installations, and increasing intelligence collection, particularly through drone and additional surveillance operations.
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