NATIONAL NEWS

US Navy warship shoots down drone from Yemen over the Red Sea

Nov 15, 2023, 1:09 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. Navy warship shot down a drone that was heading in the direction of the ship as it sailed in the southern Red Sea, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

The USS Thomas Hudner, a naval destroyer, was heading toward the Bab-el-Mandeb strait when the crew saw the drone, which originated in Yemen. The ship shot down the drone over the water. The official said the crew took action to ensure the safety of U.S. personnel, and there were no casualties or damage to the ship. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing military operations.

It is not clear if the drone was specifically targeting the ship, and U.S. officials did not directly blame the Iran-backed Houthi rebels for the unmanned aircraft. But the Houthis have launched at least six aerial attacks against Israel since Oct. 7 and, according to the group’s leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, have vowed to target ships operating in the Red Sea.

Another Navy destroyer, the USS Carney, took similar actions on Oct. 19. The ship took out three missiles and several drones that had been fired from Yemen. It wasn’t certain if they were aimed at Israel. One of the officials said the U.S. does not believe the missiles were aimed at the ship.

The Houthi are staunch foes of Israel and regularly hold huge demonstrations in support of Palestinians, during peacetime and wartime.

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Associated Press writer Jack Jeffery contributed to this report from Cairo.

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US Navy warship shoots down drone from Yemen over the Red Sea