US shoots down missiles launched from Yemen, perhaps towards Israel

The USS Carney, a U.S. Navy destroyer, shot missiles and drones from Yemen that could have been aimed at Israel, the Pentagon said on Thursday afternoon.


“The crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Carney, operating in the northern Red Sea earlier today, shot down three land-attack cruise missiles and several drones that were launched by Houthi forces in Yemen,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Defense Department spokesman.

“This action was a demonstration of the integrated air and missile-defense architecture that we have built in the Middle East and that we are prepared to utilize whenever necessary to protect our partners and our interests in this important region,” Ryder added. “There were no casualties to U.S. forces and none that we know of to any civilians on the ground.”

Although the Defense Department cannot say with certainty what the target of the missiles was, “they were launched from Yemen, heading north along the Red Sea, potentially toward targets in Israel,” said Ryder. “This attack may be ongoing, so if we have more information to share, we will.”

He also presented an update on drone attacks against U.S. facilities in Iraq and Syria. Early in the morning on Oct. 18, two drones targeted the al-Tanf base in Syria. U.S. and coalition forces shot one down and the other crashed into the base with “minor injuries” to coalition forces, Ryder said.

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And in Iraq that morning, early warnings indicated an attack on the Al-Asad base. Nothing happened, but a U.S. civilian contractor had a “cardiac episode” while sheltering and died “shortly thereafter,” Ryder reported.

He did not say what the U.S. response would be to those and other drone attacks. “Any response, should one occur, will come at a time and a manner of our choosing,” he said.

“In hindsight, probably not the right call,” wrote Robert Greenway, director of the Center for National Defense at the Heritage Foundation, sharing a Feb. 21, 2021 statement from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “revoking the designations of Ansarallah, sometimes referred to as the Houthis, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.”

“Team Biden publicly lied about their sanctions relief because it included taking Houthi leaders off the terror list,” wrote Omri Ceren, national security advisor to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “To not get called on the lie, they intermingled classified and unclassified information so they could throw the announcement in a SCIF.” (A SCIF is a sensitive compartmented information facility.)

On Oct. 10, Houthi leader Abdul-Malik Badreddine Al-Houthi warned the U.S. military against intervening directly.

“Now they are providing aid to the Israeli enemy. If they intervene directly, then we are prepared to join the fray, using rocket strikes, UAVs or any other military option that we can,” he said.