Two U.S. Defense officials confirmed that USS Thomas Hudner (an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer) shot down a Yemeni drone in the Red Sea on Wednesday.
A defense official said the drone was shot down in self-defense. “The drone was heading towards the Hudner,” the official said.
The drone attack was the latest of a series on American troops in the Middle East during the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
The Pentagon reported that as of Tuesday, there had been 56 attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Syria between Oct. 17 and Nov. 17. 59 U.S. personnel were injured with either traumatic head injury (TBI), or non-serious wounds.
Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, provided an update to journalists. She said that of the 59 U.S. military personnel injured, 32 had injuries classified as non-serious, and the remaining 27 suffered from TBI.
Last week, Houthis backed by Iran shot down an MQ-9 Reaper U.S. drone near the Yemini Coast.
A Houthi militia reportedly fired on the drone, which cost an estimated $30 million.
The U.S. government has not responded to the shooting of the drone, while the Houthis are threatening to attack Israeli ships in the Red Sea.
Jennifer Griffin, a Fox News reporter, asked Singh on Tuesday about the lack of U.S. response to the Houthis who shot down the MQ-9 in Yemen.
Griffin asked, “Won’t the Houthis take more aggressive action if the US military doesn’t respond?” Griffin asked.
“I would not say that it invites more aggressive or further responses from the Houthis,” Singh stated that the Houthis have done this before. We’ve seen our MQ-9s being shot down in the past. I don’t say that we won’t respond. We reserve the right at any time.
The U.S. Department of Defense also released on Tuesday two videos of the airstrikes that were conducted by U.S. Forces on Iranian proxy fighters who were in Syria on Sunday.
According to a senior U.S. official, the strikes claimed the lives of at least six Iranian proxy soldiers at the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps stationed in the Syrian cities of Abu Kamal and Maydin.
A senior defense source said that the safehouse was actually a headquarters.
A second official said that secondary explosions had been seen at one location, which indicated there was a lot of ammunition or weapons that were flammable at the facility.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that the airstrikes are “in response” to ongoing attacks on U.S. personnel located in Iraq and Syria.