US Destroys Houthi Drones, Operations Site And Anti-Ship Missile In Busy 24 Hours

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary Elmore)

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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The U.S. military took out more than a dozen Houthi drones, a drone operations site and anti-ship missile in four separate incidents in less than 24 hours, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in statements.

At 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, U.S. forces carried out airstrikes on a Houthi drone control station in Yemen and 10 more suicide drones in “self-defense,” CENTCOM said. On Thursday, CENTCOM forces shot down one airborne drone at 5:00 a.m., then at 10:30 a.m. engaged waterborne drone that heading toward international shipping lanes with multiple strikes, resulting in explosions, CENTCOM said.

“U.S. forces identified the [unmanned aerial vehicle] ground control station and one-way attack UAVs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region,” the statement read. (RELATED: US Identifies Group Behind Deadly Attacks On US Troops)

“U.S. forces subsequently struck and destroyed the UAV ground control station and 10 one-way attack UAVs in self-defense. This action will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy vessels and merchant vessels,” it added.

Earlier, U.S.S. Carney guided-missile destroyer shot down an anti-ship ballistic missile the Houthi terrorist group launched into the surrounding waters at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday before destroying three Iranian attack drones less than an hour later.

No damage or injuries were reported, CENTCOM said.

The U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and several U.S. destroyers are operating in the Red Sea to protect merchant vessels from incessant Houthi missile and drone attacks, which have occurred since Nov. 19.

U.S. and United Kingdom forces conducted two major operations to destroy Houthi missile and drone launch and radar capabilities on Jan. 11 and Jan. 22, while the U.S. has also executed dynamic self-defense strikes against missiles or drones prepared to launch.

Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. aircraft struck a surface-to-air missile the Iran-backed rebels had poised to launch at U.S. aircraft, presenting an “imminent threat,” the military said in a statement. Both the U.S. Navy and Air Force have aircraft operating in the region.

In a Tuesday night incident, a Houthi cruise missile came within one mile of the destroyer U.S.S. Gravely, representing the closest call so far, CNN reported, citing four U.S. officials. Previous missile interceptions conducted by U.S. destroyers took place at a range of eight miles or more, the officials said.

As of Tuesday, the Houthis have attacked or threatened international and commercial shipping and naval vessels at least 36 times since Nov. 19, Pentagon deputy spokesperson Sabrina Singh said in an email to reporters on Tuesday. The last confirmed Houthi attack on a merchant or naval vessel was on Jan. 27, she said.

As of Thursday, however, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization said it received reports of another attack near the Yemeni port in Al Hudaydah. The vessel and crew were not harmed, but an explosion was recorded a distance away from the ship in a suspected attempt to hit the vessel.

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