On Saturday, the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Carney shot down a wave of 14 suicide drones in the Red Sea. The attack was launched by the Houthi rebels operating in nearby Yemen in an area that has become a flashpoint for maritime military conflict since October 7.
In a statement issued Saturday, the U.S. Central Command said: “In the early morning hours of December 16, the USS Carney successfully engaged 14 unmanned aerial systems launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.” The Carney is integral to the broader American strategy to maintain security on the Red Sea.
In the early morning hours of December 16 (Sanna time) the US Arliegh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS CARNEY (DDG 64), operating in the Red Sea, successfully engaged 14 unmanned aerial systems launched as a drone wave from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. The UAS were… pic.twitter.com/Rjkzng5LxW
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) December 16, 2023
Since the Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7, the Houthi rebels in Yemen have significantly escalated their hostile activities in the region. They have mainly been targeting commercial shipping. They have launched limited strikes of the type seen Saturday on the military assets of Israel and its allies.
Reports indicate the Houthis have stepped up their activities recently to retaliate against Israel and to disrupt its ability to carry out its efforts to neutralize the Hamas stronghold in Gaza. In addition to attacking ships directly, the Houthis have conducted operations against Israeli ports.
These attacks have had far-reaching implications for global trade, particularly concerning the flow of oil, as the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea is a crucial passage for seaborne crude. The persistent threat posed by the Houthis has led major shipping companies like Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd to pause their journeys through this vital corridor.
The Houthis are a racial Shia Muslim group and have been militarily active in Yemen since the late 1980s. The group is allied with Iran — the world’s leading state sponsor of terror — which provides the Houthis with weapons, military intelligence and financial support.
The escalating violence in the region has threatened commercial shipping in addition to military forces. Saturday’s incident is part of the delicate balance between ensuring security and maintaining free shipping channels.
The USS Carney has been patrolling the area in recent weeks and has previously encountered hostile fire from the Houthi rebels.