WASHINGTON: The United States military said Wednesday it had downed four drones launched by Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen aimed at a US warship in the Red Sea.

US Central Command said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, that its forces had “engaged and destroyed four long-range unmanned aerial systems” at around 2 am Sanaa time (2300 GMT), adding there were no injuries or damage reported to US or coalition ships.

“It was determined these weapons presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region,” the statement said.

“These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels,” it added.

US downs three Houthi drones, strikes anti-ship missiles

In November, the Houthis launched a campaign of drone and missile strikes against vessels in the Red Sea, an area vital for world trade, in professed solidarity with Palestinians during Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

US and British forces have responded with strikes against the Houthis, who have since declared American and British interests to be legitimate targets as well.


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