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FINAL WARNING: Yemen’s Houthi Launches Armed Drone at US Navy, Ignites Tensions

Red Sea Crisis: US Tries to Persuade Shippers to Sail Despite ...

A drone, armed and unmanned, was launched from Yemen under Houthi control. It came dangerously close — within a few miles — to U.S. Navy and commercial vessels before exploding on Thursday. This alarming incident unfolded mere hours after the White House and its allies issued a stern “final warning” to the Iran-backed militia group. They warned of potential military action if such attacks persisted.

This event marks a first for the Houthis — their initial use of an unmanned surface vessel (USV) since they began harassing commercial ships in the Red Sea following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, as stated by Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, who leads U.S. Navy operations in the Middle East. Fabian Hinz, an expert in missile technology and research fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, highlighted that these USVs form a crucial part of Houthi’s maritime weaponry arsenal.

Since late October last year, there has been an increase in aggression from Houthis with numerous attack drones and missiles targeted at commercial vessels traversing through Red Sea waters. In retaliation to these attacks, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Operation Prosperity Guardian this past December 2022; additional ships were deployed to safeguard commercial vessels navigating through Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

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