US-led coalition shoots down 15 Yemen rebel drones: CENTCOM

AFP , Saturday 9 Mar 2024

US and allied forces shot down 15 one-way attack drones fired by Yemeni Houthi rebels into the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the US military said on Saturday.

The bulk carrier True Confidence is seen at Shimizu Port in Japan on July 6, 2023.
The bulk carrier True Confidence is seen at Shimizu Port in Japan on July 6, 2023. A missile attack by Yemen s Houthi rebels on the ship in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, killed three of its crew members and forced survivors to abandon the vessel, the U.S. military said. AP


It was one of the Houthis' largest attacks since they began in November a campaign of drone and missile strikes against ships in the Red Sea area, vital for world trade, in professed solidarity with Palestinians over the Israeli war on Gaza.

The US Central Command, or CENTCOM, said the "large-scale" Houthi attack occurred before dawn in the Red Sea and adjacent Gulf of Aden.

CENTCOM and coalition forces determined that the drones "presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels, US Navy and coalition ships in the region".

It added, in a post on social media platform X, that "US Navy vessels and aircraft along with multiple coalition navy ships and aircraft shot down 15" of the drones.

"These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure."

On January 9, US and British forces shot down 18 drones and three missiles fired by the rebels toward ships in the Red Sea, the US military said at the time.

Britain said it was the largest attack to that point by the Houthis.

The United States in December announced a maritime security initiative to protect Red Sea shipping from Houthi attacks, which have forced commercial vessels to divert from the route that normally carries 12 percent of global trade.

Since January the United States and Britain have also launched repeated strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen in response to the ship attacks, but the rebels have continued to attack merchant vessels and have also targeted American and British ships.

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