International Coalition Thwarts Houthi Drone Attack in Red Sea Region

Last Updated on March 10, 2024 4:36 am

In a coordinated effort, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom successfully intercepted dozens of drones in the Red Sea area after an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on the bulk carrier Propel Fortune and U.S. destroyers, as announced by the U.S. military. The Houthis claimed responsibility for targeting the cargo vessel and several U.S. war destroyers with 37 drones.

According to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), at least 28 uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) were downed in the early hours of Saturday, posing an imminent threat to merchant vessels, U.S. Navy, and coalition ships in the region. CENTCOM confirmed that no damage was inflicted on any vessels, emphasizing the successful defense against the attack.

France also played a crucial role in the response, with a French warship and fighter jets intercepting four combat drones advancing towards naval vessels belonging to the European Aspides mission. This defensive action contributed directly to protecting the cargo ship True Confidence, which had been struck on March 6 and is currently being towed.

The United Kingdom, through its Ministry of Defence, reported that its warship HMS Richmond participated in repelling a Houthi drone attack overnight, successfully shooting down two attack drones with its Sea Ceptor missiles. No injuries or damage were reported, and the UK emphasized its commitment, along with allies, to take necessary actions to ensure the safety of lives and protect freedom of navigation.

These incidents follow a missile strike by the Houthis on the Greek-operated True Confidence earlier in the week, resulting in three seafarers’ deaths. The Houthi attacks on key shipping routes have prompted international condemnation, with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) confirming an attempted attack on the Singapore-flagged Propel Fortune. UKMTO stated that Propel Fortune was likely targeted due to outdated U.S. ownership data.

Yahya Sarea, the Houthi group’s military spokesman, declared their intention to continue attacks until the perceived aggression stops and the siege on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is lifted. The situation remains tense, and international forces are on high alert in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden regions.

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