US Navy assets successfully intercepted and neutralized a barrage of loitering munitions (or kamikaze drones), anti-ship ballistic missiles, and land attack cruise missiles launched by Houthi rebels in the Southern Red Sea region.
The incident unfolded over 10 hours, commencing at approximately 6:30 am local time on December 26, 2023.
The interceptions were carried out by the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Laboon and F/A-18 Super Hornets from the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group currently deployed in the region.
According to the US Central Command (CENTCOM), responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia, 12 one-way attack drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles, and two land attack cruise missiles were successfully shot down before they could pose a threat.
The Iran-backed Houthi rebels, based in Yemen, have been responsible for multiple missile and drone attacks targeting neighboring countries and vessels in response to the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Consequently, several global shipping giants have announced that they are suspending the passage of their ships through the Red Sea, where 12% of global trade normally passes.
The United States has recently bolstered its military presence in the Middle East, with the arrival of aircraft carriers USS Gerald R. Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the deployment of additional combat aircraft. Since October 2023, several Houthi missiles and drones have been shot down by US and allied warships patrolling the area.