Breaking Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed USS Carney took out missiles and drones that had been fired from Yemen and were “heading north.” The Navy destroyer in the northern Red Sea intercepted three land attack cruise missiles and several drones that were launched by Houthi forces in Yemen.
Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder announced the news on Wednesday to reporters. He said they were shot down over the water. “We cannot say for certain what these missiles and drones were targeting, but they were launched from Yemen heading north along the Red Sea, potentially towards targets in Israel,” Ryder said in a Pentagon briefing.
The Associated Press reports that Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have expressed support for the Palestinians and have indeed threatened Israel. Last week, in Yemen’s Sanaa, which is held by the Houthi rebels still at war with a Saudi-led coalition, demonstrators crowded the streets waving Yemeni and Palestinian flags. The rebels’ slogan long has been, “God is the greatest; death to America; death to Israel; curse of the Jews; victory to Islam.”
One U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity said they do not believe the missiles were aimed at the ship. Ryder added that the missiles were shot down because they “posed a potential threat” based on their flight profile, adding that the U.S. is prepared to do whatever is needed “to protect our partners and our interests in this important region.”
Also last week, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, the rebel group’s leader, warned the United States against intervening in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, threatening that his forces would retaliate by firing drones and missiles.
Ryder said the U.S. is still assessing what the target was, and added no U.S. forces or civilians on the ground were injured.
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