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US warship shoots down drone launched from Yemen

By AFP - Dec 01,2023 - Last updated at Dec 01,2023

This handout satellite photo taken and released on Tuesday courtesy of Maxar Techonologies shows the recently seized Galaxy Leader ship anchored offshore of As Salif, Yemen, with a support tender vessel positioned nearby (AFP photo)

WASHINGTON — A US Navy warship shot down a drone on Wednesday launched from a part of Yemen controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the American military's Central Command said.

The Houthis, who control much of Yemen and are part of an "axis of resistance" arrayed against Israel, have launched a series of drones and missiles since the start of the Hamas-Israel war last month.

"At approximately 1100 [Sanaa time], while in the South Red Sea, the Arleigh-Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer USS Carney [DDG 64] shot down an Iranian-produced KAS04 unmanned aerial vehicle launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen," CENTCOM said in a statement.

"Although its intentions are not known, the UAV was heading toward the warship," which was escorting a US Navy oiler and a US-flagged ship carrying military equipment, it said, adding that "there were no injuries to US personnel and no damage to US vessels".

US warships have shot down drones or missiles launched from Yemen on several occasions in recent weeks.

The US Navy downed multiple drones on November 23, one drone on November 15, and both missiles and drones on October 19, while the Houthis shot down an American drone earlier this month.

The drone and missile launches and shootdowns are related to the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza which began after Hamas' sudden attack on October 7. Israel responded to the attack with a relentless land and air campaign on Hamas-controlled Gaza that the group's officials say has killed nearly 15,000 people.

Those deaths have provoked widespread anger in the Middle East and provided an impetus for attacks against American troops in the region as well as on Israel by armed groups opposed to both.

Israel has faced drone and missiles launched from Lebanon and Yemen, while American forces in Iraq and Syria have been targeted in a series of attacks that have injured dozens of US personnel.

Washington has blamed the attacks on its personnel on Iran-backed forces and responded with air strikes on multiple occasions.

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