For merely the second known time since the Gaza War started on Oct.7, a US Navy destroyer in the Red Sea region has intercepted a projectile fired from Houthi rebels in Yemen toward southern Israel.
The Pentagon identified that the USS Thomas Hudner, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, intercepted a drone launched from Yemen on Wednesday.
It was last month that for the first time a US warship intercepted missiles fired from Yemen, and since then the Iran-backed Houthies have declared war on Israel.
Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh earlier this week announced that US forces and bases in the Mideast region have been attacked 55 times since mid-October, which includes 27 attacks in Iraq and 28 in Syria.
US forces have greatly beefed up their presence in the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility, and most especially in the Eastern Mediterranean and Red Sea areas.
The Houthis just last week claimed to have downed an American MQ-9 Reaper drone off the Yemeni coast. US officials later confirmed the accuracy of the reports:
An unmanned US military drone was shot down off the coast of Yemen by Houthi forces, a defense official told CNN.
The official said the MQ-9 Reaper drone was operating in international airspace and over international waters when it was shot down. US Central Command is investigating the incident, the official said.
Israel also currently has more warships patrolling the Red Sea region, on high alert for any inbound projectiles. They are monitoring skies over the Red Sea and around Israel after the Yemeni rebel group has vowed to "help the Palestinians to victory."
The Houthis have been locked in a war with Saudi Arabia (and allies UAE & the US) since 2015. In 2014 the Shia rebel group overran the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, sparking the Saudi-UAE intervention to uphold the pro-Saudi government. Many tens of thousands have been killed over the last half-decade of fighting, with the country also on the brink of starvation.
Houthis published footage of the Reaper drone intercept a week ago...
🇺🇸U.S. MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone shot down by 🇾🇪Yemen's Houthis (Ansar Allah) over the Red Sea off the Coast of Yemen. pic.twitter.com/wPDNcPkywi— Military Advisor (@miladvisor) November 8, 2023
Given US warships are now actively trying to shoot Yemeni missiles and drones out of the sky, this marks a significant step toward Washington potentially getting sucked deeper into a broader conflict theatre.