U.S. Navy warship shoots down drone fired from Yemen

The guided missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner shot down a drone fired from Yemen over the Red Sea early Wednesday, according to two U.S. defense officials. 

Unlike an incident last month in which an American destroyer shot down multiple drones and missiles fired in the direction of Israel, this drone was headed toward the USS Thomas Hudner. 

Reuters was first to report the warship shot down the drone. 

USS Thomas Hudner Arrives In Boston For Commissioning
File:  The USS Thomas Hudner, named after Concord’s Medal of Honor recipient Thomas Hudner, arrives in Boston for its commissioning ceremony later in the week on Nov. 26, 2018.

David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

It’s not clear yet who is responsible for launching the drone, but earlier this week, the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen threatened to attack ships in the Red Sea. 

The incident follows the Houthis’ shoot-down of a US MQ-9 Reaper Drone last week over the Red Sea. 

The U.S. did not launch a recovery effort for the roughly $30 million drone, and although the Houthis made an effort to salvage it, Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said it’s unlikely they could “recover anything of significance.”

The USS Thomas Hudner incident and the downing of the MQ-9 threaten a widening of the war between Israel and Hamas that the U.S. has been trying to contain. 

Elsewhere, the U.S. has already launched three rounds of retaliatory strikes on Iranian-backed groups in Syria for the nearly 60 attacks on U.S. forces based in Iraq and Syria in the past month. 

When asked earlier this week if the Pentagon would respond militarily to the downing of the MQ-9, Singh said she had no announcement, but “we always reserve the right to respond at a time and place of our choosing.”

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