In a recent confrontation, U.S. Navy destroyer and F/A-18 Super Hornets successfully thwarted an assault by Iran-backed rebels, intercepting a total of 12 suicide drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles, and two land attack cruise missiles on Tuesday, December 26.
The engagement, initiated at 6:30 am, lasted for a duration of 10 hours, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command.
‘U.S. assets, to include the USS LABOON (DDG 58) and F/A-18 Super Hornets from the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, shot down twelve one-way attack drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles, and two land attack cruise missiles in the Southern Red Sea that were fired by the Houthis over a 10 hour period which began at approximately 6:30 a.m. (Sanaa time) on December 26,’ Centcom said on X.
‘There was no damage to ships in the area or reported injuries.’
The attack came the day after President Joe Biden authorized retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, following strikes on a U.S. airbase in Erbil which left three U.S. troops injured – one of them critically.
On Saturday, Laboon shot down four unmanned aerial vehicles in the Red Sea.
After shooting down the drones, the Laboon responded to distress calls after two commercial vessels came under attack, Navy Times reported.
The M/V Blaamanen, a Norwegian-flagged, owned, and operated chemical tanker reported a near miss of a Houthi one-way attack drone, while the M/V Saibaba, a Gabon-owned, Indian-flagged crude oil tanker was hit by a one-way attack drone, with no injuries reported.
A week before, on December 16, the Navy destroyer Carney took down 14 attack drones in the Red Sea.
CentCom said in a statement earlier this month that the U.S. has ‘every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran.’
Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, announced on December 18 the creation of a multinational task force to help protect civilian ships in the region.