A US Navy warship operating in the Middle East has intercepted missiles off the coast of Yemen on Thursday, the Pentagon says.
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said at a news conference that the crew of the guided missile destroyer USS Carney, operating in the northern Red Sea, on Thursday shot down three cruise missiles and several drones launched by Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen.
“This action was a demonstration of the integrated air and missile defense architecture that we built in the Middle East and that we are prepared to utilize whenever necessary to protect our partners and our interests,” he told reporters.
no casualties were reported.
“We cannot say for certain what these missiles and drones were targeting, but they were launched heading north along the Red Sea potentially towards targets in Israel,” the general said.
This was one of the incidents of U.S. forces in the Red Sea, Iraq and Syria responding to missile and drone attacks over the past two days, according to Ryder.
U.S. facilities in Syria and Iraq also were targeted with drone attacks. The al-Tanf garrison in Syria, where American and anti-ISIS coalition forces are based, were attacked by two drones on Wednesday. “U.S. and coalition forces engaged one drone destroying it while the other drone impacted the base resulting in minor injuries to coalition forces,” Ryder said. All of the injured returned to duty.
On the same day, early warning systems indicated a possible threat approaching the al-Assad airbase in Iraq, where US personnel are stationed. A U.S. civilian contractor died of cardiac arrest while sheltering.
He said U.S. troops are on high alert to deter any government or militant group from launching attacks under cover of the Israeli-Hamas war as an opportunity to launch conflict that could engulf the region.
As the Middle East conflict escalates, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is crossing the Atlantic to join the US warship Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, which is already in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The Air Force has also bumped up fighter presence to the region.
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