US Says It Shot Down Four Drones In Southern Red Sea Launched From Yemen

US Says It Shot Down Four Drones In Southern Red Sea Launched From Yemen

Doctor revealed

The United States shot down four drones headed towards a US destroyer in the southern Red Sea and launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Saturday, US Central Command (Centcom) said.

“These attacks represent the 14th and 15th attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi militants since Oct. 17,” Centcom said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

More than 100 container ships rerouted from Suez canal to avoid Houthi attacks

The Iran-aligned Houthis, who control much of Yemen, have disrupted world trade for weeks with attacks on ships passing through the Bab al-Mandab Strait at the southern end of the Red Sea in what they say is a response to Israel’s war in Gaza.

The US Naval Forces Central Command responded to distress calls from two ships under attack, Centcom said.

A Norwegian-flagged, owned and operated chemical/oil tanker reported a near miss of a Houthi drone attack, and a Gabon-owned, Indian-flagged crude oil tanker reported being hit by a one-way attack, the post said.

Two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles were also “fired into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea from Houthi controlled areas of Yemen”, it said.

“No ships reported being impacted by the ballistic missiles.”

The UK Maritime Trade Operations agency earlier reported that an uncrewed aerial system had exploded near a vessel in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, 45 nautical miles southwest of Saleef, Yemen.

Meanwhile, a Japanese-owned chemical tanker struck Saturday off the coast of India was targeted by a drone “fired from Iran”, the Pentagon said.

Saturday’s attack took place about 10am local time (0600 GMT) and caused no casualties aboard the vessel, it said, adding that a fire was extinguished.

The US military “remains in communication with the vessel as it continues toward a destination in India,” it added.

It was the first time the Pentagon openly accused Iran of directly targeting ships since the start of Israel’s war on Hamas, according to Agence France-Presse.

The Pentagon statement said the MV Chem Pluto ship flew under a Liberian flag and was operated by a Dutch entity, although the ship is owned by a Japanese company.

Ambrey, a maritime security firm, said the “chemical/products tanker … was Israel-affiliated” and had been on its way from Saudi Arabia to India.

The Indian navy said it had responded to a request for assistance.

“An aircraft was dispatched and it reached overhead the vessel and established safety of the involved ship and its crew,” a navy official told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the strike.

The Red Sea attacks on shipping since the start of the Israel-Hamas war have prompted major firms to reroute their cargo vessels around the southern tip of Africa, despite the higher fuel costs of much longer voyages.

The Houthi rebels have launched more than 100 drone and missile attacks, targeting 10 merchant vessels involving more than 35 different countries, according to the Pentagon.

On Saturday, an official in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned of the forced closure of other waterways unless Israel halted its war with Hamas.

“With the continuation of these crimes, America and its allies should expect the emergence of new resistance forces and the closure of other waterways,” Mohammad Reza Naqdi said, quoted by Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

The United States launched Operation Prosperity Guardian three days ago, saying more than a dozen countries had agreed to participate in an effort that will involve joint patrols in Red Sea waters near Yemen.

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