US Navy warship shoots down drone launched by Houthis from Yemen, official says

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. Navy warship sailing near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait shot down a drone launched from Yemen, a U.S. official said Wednesday, in the latest in a string of threats from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

The official said according to initial reports, USS Carney, a Navy destroyer, deemed the drone — an Iranian-made KAS-04 — to be a threat and shot it down over water in the southern Red Sea as the ship was moving toward the strait. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a military operation not yet made public.

The Wednesday shootdown comes a day after a Iranian drone flew within 1,500 yards of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier as it was conducting flight operations in international waters in the Arabian Gulf.

Navy Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said the drone “violated safety precautions” by not staying more than 10 nautical miles from the ship. The drone ignored multiple warnings but eventually turned away.

Earlier this month, another Navy destroyer, the USS Thomas Hudner, shot down a drone that was heading toward the ship as it sailed in the southern Red Sea. It also was near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and it shot down the drone over the water.

The Red Sea, stretching from Egypt’s Suez Canal to the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait separating the Arabian Peninsula from Africa, is a key trade route for global shipping and energy supplies. The U.S. Navy has stationed multiple ships in the sea since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, which has heightened tensions in the region.

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