The US Navy shot down 24 Houthi missiles and drones launched from Yemen, according to two US defense officials. The actions were in response to one of the largest Houthi attacks to take place in the Red Sea in recent months.
According to initial assessments, there were no ships damaged in the attacks and no injuries as a result of the drone and missile launch, the officials said.
“We can confirm a Houthi attack occurred today near the southern Red Sea. We’ll provide additional details when they’re available,” a third defense official said.
It was not immediately clear whether the missiles and drones were launched simultaneously.
Three destroyers took part in the shootdown of the barrage, one of the officials said. The US has ships in the Red Sea as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a multi-national effort to safeguard shipping in one of the world’s most critical waterways.
The Houthis began launching the attacks soon after the start of the war in Gaza, claiming they were targeting ships with ties to Israel as they stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
But many of the recent attacks have had no connection to Israel even as it draws more nations into the situation, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, previously said.
The launch comes with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visiting the Middle East in an attempt to contain the Gaza war and prevent a regional escalation.
Blinken is currently in Israel, where he told officials there that Palestinians in Gaza must be allowed to return to their homes “as soon as conditions allow.” The secretary has repeatedly called on the Israeli government to reduce the number of civilian casualties as a result of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.