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US destroys Houthi UAVs in Red Sea in 'self-defence'

March 1, 2024 at 1:15 pm

An aerial view of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy USS Gerald R. Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower together in eastern Mediterranean on November 03, 2023. [U.S. Navy Malachi Lakey/Handout – Anadolu Agency]

The US destroyed drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi group, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

“On 29 February, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. (Sana’a time), US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces conducted two self-defence strikes against six mobile anti-ship cruise missiles that were prepared to launch towards the Red Sea,” CENTCOM said on X.

CENTCOM said it identified the UAVs as originating from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined that they presented an “imminent threat” to merchant vessels and US Navy ships and coalition ships in the region.

“These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels,” it added.

Yemen’s Houthi group has been targeting cargo ships in the Red Sea owned or operated by Israeli companies or transporting goods to and from Israel in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli onslaught since 7 October.

The Red Sea is one of the world’s most frequently used sea routes for oil and fuel shipments.

US Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin, recently announced the creation of a multinational mission, “Operation Prosperity Guardian”, to counter the Houthi attacks.

READ: Yemen: Houthis vow military ‘surprises’ in Red Sea