US, allied forces down six drones launched by Yemen's Houthis

AFP , Thursday 22 Feb 2024

American and allied forces shot down six drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels that were likely targeting warships in the area, the US military said Thursday.

Members of Huthi-affiliated security forces hold a portrait by the movement s leader Abdul Malik al-
Members of Huthi-affiliated security forces hold a portrait by the movement s leader Abdul Malik al-Huthi as Yemenis march in the capital Sanaa. AFP


The Iran-backed Houthis have continued attacks on shipping despite repeated American and British strikes aimed at degrading their ability to threaten a vital global trade route.

The drones were downed by US aircraft and a coalition warship on Thursday morning local time, and were identified "as likely targeting US and coalition warships and were an imminent threat," US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

The military command did not identify the nationality of the coalition warship, but the French defense ministry said Thursday that the country's navy shot down two drones overnight.

The European Union formally launched a naval mission on Monday to protect Red Sea shipping from Houthi attacks, while the United States is spearheading its naval coalition in the area.

The Houthis began attacking Red Sea shipping in November, saying they were hitting Israel-linked vessels in support of Palestinians in Gaza, which has been ravaged by the Israeli war on Gaza.

US and UK forces responded with strikes against the Houthis, who have since declared American and British interests to be legitimate targets as well.

CENTCOM said the Houthis fired two anti-ship missiles at a UK-owned cargo carrier in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, causing damage and one minor injury.

Anger over Israel's devastating campaign in Gaza -- which began after an unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7 -- has grown across the Middle East, stoking violence involving Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

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