US Navy Ship Fends Off Drone Attack From Yemen In First Confirmed Act Of ‘Self-Defense’ Since Israel-Hamas War Began

030608-N-4374S-014 - German Navy ship FGS Lubeck (F 214) and Russian Navy ship RFS Nastoychivyy sails in formation behind the aegis cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) during the BALTOPS 2003. The United States and 12 other nations are participating in this year's exercise. BALTOPS 2003 is intended to improve interoperability between allies and Partnership for Peace countries by conducting a peace support operation at sea including exercises in gunnery, replenishment-at-sea, undersea warfare, radar tracking, mine countermeasures, seamanship, search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations, and scenarios dealing with potentially real world crises. .Official U.S. Navy Photograph by PH2 (SW) Michael Sandberg; Fleet Combat Camera, Atlantic..Photograph cleared for public release by Cmdr. Victor Beck, BALTOPS 2003 PAO..

The U.S. Navy shot down a drone fired from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen, the response was the first confirmed act of “self-defense” by an American ship in the Red Sea since the breakout of the Israel-Hamas war.

The drone was launched “from Houthi-controlled areas” and was shot down by the USS Laboon destroyer in the Red Sea on Saturday, according to United States Central Command (CENTCOM). The response marks the first time the U.S. has publicly confirmed that such an attack on an American ship was thwarted in self-defense since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks against Israel.

“An unmanned aerial vehicle launched from Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen was shot down in self-defense by USS LABOON (DDG 59) in international waters of the Southern Red Sea,” CENTCOM said in a statement on Saturday.

CENTCOM noted that the attack came within range of multiple commercial vessels in the region. The attack was subdued and no casualties or damages were reported.

Previous CENTCOM references to the U.S. Navy fending off Houthi attacks in the Red Sea used language like “shot down,” or that drones were fired “toward” American ships, which were ambiguous terms that didn’t provide clarity on who the attacks were intended for. The Houthis have ramped up attacks on Red Sea shipping in a show of solidarity with Hamas in their war against Israel.

U.S. Navy helicopters were previously involved in a separate act of “self-defense” against the Houthis after the terrorist group attacked a MAERSK commercial vessel in the Red Sea in December, according to CENTCOM.

The Houthis launched two dozen attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea region and several more attacks that have been intercepted by U.S. forces following the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks. The U.S. Department of Defense established a joint international task force in the region to combat the Houthis, although critics feel it has not been effective at deterring threats from the militia group.

CENTCOM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jake Smith on January 6, 2024

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments