USS Carney Intercepts Houthi Drones, Counters Missile Attack on Commercial Ship in Red Sea



The USS Carney, a US navy ship, intercepted three Houthi drones and responded to a distress call from a commercial vessel fired upon by a ballistic missile, according to a US defense official. The drones were part of four attacks, including attacks on three other commercial vessels, launched by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen. The United States Central Command believes the attacks were enabled by Iran and pose a threat to international commerce and maritime security, and stated the US will consider all appropriate responses in coordination with international allies and partners.

USS Carney Intercepts Houthi Drones Amidst Ballistic Missile Attack on Commercial Vessels

The USS Carney, on Sunday, intercepted three Houthi drones and responded to a ballistic missile attack on a commercial vessel in the southern Red Sea, according to a US defense official. The attacked vessels were among four separate attacks by Houthi rebels on commercial vessels, affirmed by a US Central Command statement.

At 9:15 a.m. local time, the Carney detected a ballistic missile attack from Houthi-controlled regions in Yemen targeting the M/V Unity Explorer, a UK-owned Bahamas-flagged bulk cargo ship. The USS Carney, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, was patrolling the Red Sea at the time.

The Carney, later around noon, destroyed a Houthi drone heading in its direction. Simultaneously, the Unity Explorer was hit by a missile from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen. Assisting the distressed Unity Explorer, the Carney detected another UAV and destroyed it, resulting in no damage or injuries to the Carney or Unity Explorer.

Minor damage was reported by the Unity Explorer due to the missile strike. Two other commercial vessels, the M/V Number 9 and M/V Sophie II, were also attacked on Sunday, with the Carney responding to their distress calls. While the Carney was responding, it shot down another drone headed towards it.

US Central Command addressed these attacks as a threat to international commerce and maritime security and pointed out that these attacks were launched from Yemen but were likely enabled by Iran.

Yemeni Armed Forces, controlled by the Houthi, claimed that its naval forces attacked “two Israeli ships” in the Red Sea’s Bab al-Mandab strait. According to their statements, the vessels Unity Explorer and Number Nine were attacked by a naval missile and drone, respectively, after ignoring warning messages.

The Yemeni Armed Forces warned all Israeli ships or those associated with Israelis that they will be targeted if they violate their issued statements. Since Hamas’ attack on Israel, the Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen have launched numerous cruise missiles and attack drones toward Israel and US assets, escalating concerns over the expansion of the Israel-Hamas war.

Earlier, the USS Thomas Hudner shot down multiple one-way attack drones from Yemen. The Houthis announced that strikes against Israel would proceed until “Israeli aggression” stops. This coincides with Sunday’s attacks following the interception of an Iranian UAV in the Persian Gulf by the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.

Despite continuous attacks, US officials claimed that the Israel-Hamas conflict has not yet expanded into the region. Pentagon spokesman, Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, stated that they largely believe the conflict is contained between Israel and Hamas.

Report contributions by CNN’s Zachary Cohen.

Additional information has updated this story.

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