U.S. destroys Houthi drones in Yemen in the thick of escalating tensions

U.S. destroys Houthi drones in Yemen in the thick of escalating tensions

Shafaq News / The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) announced, on Thursday, the destruction of four drones belonging to the Houthis (Ansalallah) in Yemen.

CENTCOM stated on X, "At approximately 9 p.m. (Sanaa time) on May 14, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) forces successfully destroyed four uncrewed aerial system (UAS) in an Iranian-backed Houthi controlled area of Yemen."

"It was determined these systems presented an imminent threat to U.S., coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region."

The statement continued, "These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S., coalition, and merchant vessels."

On Wednesday, the Houthis declared "targeting the USS Mason destroyer in the Red Sea with naval missiles, accurately hitting it."

This comes as the head of the Supreme Political Council affiliated with Ansarallah, Mahdi al-Mashat, warned of "decisive, bold, and tough options" the movement will take if the Israeli aggression on Gaza continues, indicating that "the fourth stage of escalation will begin with qualitative operations."

According to the US Maritime Administration, Ansarallah has carried out over 50 attacks on shipping, including seizing one vessel and sinking another, since November 2023, "in support and solidarity with the Palestinian people and Gaza."

In response, the United States and its allies have formed a military force to deal with Houthi strikes, with American and British aircraft launching several strikes on various locations in Yemen, while the US military conducts missions independently of any maritime alliance in the region.

Earlier this May, Ansarallah declared an escalation aimed at maritime navigation in multiple regions, including the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean.

The escalation, as outlined by group's military spokesperson, Yahya Saree, involves targeting vessels violating navigation restrictions and "heading to occupied Palestinian ports in the Mediterranean Sea across various affected areas."

The escalated tensions came while Israel intensified its military assault in the Gaza Strip, where more than 35,000 were killed and about 78,000 were wounded, mostly women and children.

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