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Houthi militants: US shoots down 4 drones launched from Houthi-controlled areas – CENTCOM

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The United States shot down four drones headed towards a U.S. destroyer in the southern Red Sea and launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Saturday, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

“These attacks represent the 14th and 15th attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi militants since Oct. 17,” CENTCOM said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The Iran-aligned Houthis, who control much of Yemen, have disrupted world trade for weeks with attacks on ships passing through the Bab al-Mandab Strait at the southern end of the Red Sea in what they say is a response to Israel’s war in Gaza.

The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command responded to distress calls from two ships under attack, CENTCOM said.

A Norwegian-flagged, -owned and -operated chemical/oil tanker reported a near miss of a Houthi drone attack, and a Gabon-owned, Indian-flagged crude oil tanker reported being hit by a one-way attack, the post said.

Two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles were also “fired into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea from Houthi controlled areas of Yemen”, it said. “No ships reported being impacted by the ballistic missiles.” The U.K. Maritime Trade Operations agency earlier reported that an uncrewed aerial system had exploded near a vessel in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, 45 nautical miles southwest of Saleef, Yemen. The United States launched Operation Prosperity Guardian three days ago, saying more than a dozen countries had agreed to participate in an effort that will involve joint patrols in Red Sea waters near Yemen.

The Sanaa-based group has obstructed their passage through the strait.

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