US warship shoots down drone, missile fired by Yemen's Houthis

AFP , Friday 29 Dec 2023

An American warship shot down a drone and an anti-ship ballistic missile fired Thursday by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the US military said.

In this 2008 image released by the US Navy Visual News Service the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason steams through the Atlantic Ocean. The US military says an American warship shot down a drone and an anti-ship ballistic missile fired Thursday by Yemen s Iran-backed Houthi rebels. AFP


The Houthis have repeatedly targeted Israeli-linked vessels in the vital Red Sea shipping lane, demanding Israel stop its aggression on the Palestinians and allow all humanitarian aid to enter the besieged Gaza Strip.

"The USS Mason (DDG 87) shot down one drone and one anti-ship ballistic missile in the Southern Red Sea that were fired by the Houthis," US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement, referring to a guided-missile destroyer.

"There was no damage to any of the 18 ships in the area or reported injuries," CENTCOM said, adding that it was the 22nd attempted attack on international shipping by the Houthis since mid-October.

The attacks are endangering a transit route that carries up to 12 percent of global trade, prompting the United States to set up a multinational naval task force earlier this month to protect Red Sea shipping.

In addition to US military action, the Treasury Department unveiled sanctions Thursday against a network involved in financing Houthi attacks.

The Treasury said it had sanctioned the head of the Currency Exchangers Association in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, along with three exchanges in Yemen and Turkey responsible for "facilitating the flow of Iranian financial assistance" to the Houthis.

The mounting death toll in the besieged strip has sparked widespread anger in the Middle East and provided an impetus for attacks by armed groups across the region that are opposed to Israel.

US forces in Iraq and Syria have repeatedly come under fire from drone and rocket attacks that Washington says are being carried out by Iran-backed armed groups.

On Monday, a drone attack wounded three American personnel in northern Iraq, after which the US military struck three sites it said were used by Iran-backed forces in the country.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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