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US destroyer shoots down Yemeni drone headed toward American forces in the Red Sea
Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

US destroyer shoots down Yemeni drone headed toward American forces in the Red Sea

A U.S. Navy destroyer shot down a drone making its way toward the American ship from Yemen.

The Navy ship, the Thomas Hudner, shot down the drone on November 15, 2023, in the Red Sea, the second time American warships have fired upon attacks from Yemen in the last month.

The Thomas Hudner was moving through international waters that day, the Military Times reported, when it "engaged a drone that originated from Yemen and was heading in the direction of the ship," a Pentagon statement revealed.

"The Hudner’s crew engaged and shot down the drone to ensure the safety of U.S. personnel," the Pentagon said, adding that the action was a maneuver made in self-defense.

"There were no U.S. casualties or any damage to the ship."

The operation followed a late-October 2023 action in which U.S. Navy forces shot down three cruise missile and a set of drones that also came from Yemen.

The objects were taken down by the USS Carney in that case, which was also operating in the Red Sea.

"We cannot say for certain what these missiles and drones were targeting, but they were launched from Yemen heading north along the Red Sea, potentially toward targets in Israel," Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said at the time.

"I think that we are all sensitive to the fact that there are tensions in the region," Ryder added. "You are seeing, and we probably will continue to see, groups that may try to exploit the situation to benefit their own interests, to include Iranian proxy groups."

Reports stated that the drones and missiles were launched by Houthi forces, a Yemeni group that has been historically backed by Hezbollah and Iran, according to Brookings.

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Houthis allegedly adopted the slogan "God is great, death to the U.S., death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam."

American authorities had issued warnings to the Iran-backed forces in the region and told them not to cause any escalation in the ongoing conflict. There is a commitment to "deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this conflict," said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

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