US Navy warship shoots down drone launched by Houthis from Yemen

There were no injuries to US personnel and no damage to any ship

A US Navy ship patrols in the Red Sea. US Navy handout / Reuters
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A US Navy warship sailing near the Bab El Mandeb Strait shot down a drone launched from Yemen on Wednesday, the US military said, in the latest in a string of threats from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

US Central Command said the USS Carney, a navy destroyer, downed the drone – an Iranian-made KAS-04 – which was launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen and was heading towards the warship.

The ship was operating in the southern Red Sea and was moving towards the strait.

At the time of the morning shootdown, the Carney was escorting the USNS Supply, a Military Sealift Command fast combat supply ship, as well as another US-flagged and crewed ship carrying military equipment to the region.

There were no injuries to US personnel and no damage to the ships, the command said in a statement.

The shootdown came a day after an Iranian drone flew within 1,500 yards of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower aircraft carrier as it was conducting flight operations in international waters in the Arabian Gulf.

Vice Adm Brad Cooper, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, said the drone “violated safety precautions” by not staying more than 10 nautical miles from the ship.

The drone ignored several warnings but eventually turned away.

Earlier this month, another destroyer, the USS Thomas Hudner, shot down a drone that was heading towards the ship as it sailed in the southern Red Sea. It also was near the Bab El Mandeb Strait and it shot down the drone over the water.

The Red Sea, stretching from Egypt’s Suez Canal to the narrow Bab El Mandeb Strait separating the Arabian Peninsula from Africa, is a key trade route for global shipping and energy supplies.

The US Navy has stationed several ships in the sea since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7, which has heightened tension in the region.

Updated: November 30, 2023, 12:22 AM