The United States said on December 26 that it had shot down twelve attack drones and five missiles, which it claimed were launched by the Iran-backed Houthis. There was no damage to ships in the area or injuries reported, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.
“US assets, to include the USS LABOON (DDG 58) and F/A-18 Super Hornets from the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, shot down twelve one-way attack drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles, and two land attack cruise missiles in the Southern Red Sea that were fired by the Houthis over a 10 hour period which began at approximately 6:30 a.m. (Sanaa time) on December 26. There was no damage to ships in the area or reported injuries,” the US CENTCOM posted on X.
The USS Laboon, a guided-missile destroyer, and F-18 fighter jets from the Eisenhower carrier strike group are in the Southern Red Sea as part of a US-led coalition meant to protect shipping lanes from attack by the Houthis in the key Bab el-Mandeb strait, according to The Times of Israel.
The US announcement followed the Israel Defence Forces’ statement on downing a “hostile aerial target” heading toward Israel, monitored by the IAF’s air traffic control. The Iran-backed Houthis claimed firing drones at Eilat in solidarity with Gaza.
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm Daniel Hagari termed the attacks “acts of terror” directed by Iran.
“This is an act that is carried out under Iranian directives,” he added. The IDF released footage of the interception off Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula coast. Witnesses cited by Egyptian media said they saw something fall into the Gulf of Aqaba, near Dahab.
Al Qahera News television, which has links to state intelligence, stated that blasts were heard about two kilometres from the Egyptian seaside town of Dahab, which lies around 125 kilometres south of Eilat, as reported by The Times of Israel.
No casualties or damage were reported. Al-Arabiya’s footage showed the aerial interception. The Houthis claimed a missile strike on MSC UNITED and launched drones at southern Israel. Yemen’s Houthis have launched several drone and missile attacks at Israel, with most intercepted.
The Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, after thousands of Hamas terrorists crossed the border and killed scores of Israelis. Houthis claim solidarity with Gaza, reporting over 20,900 killed.
(with inputs from ANI)