United States Yemen Houthis Explainer

The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney in Souda Bay, Greece. Petty Officer 3rd Class Bill Dodge / U.S. Navy via AP

The crew of the Bath-built USS Carney on Friday shot down a missile fired at it by Houthi forces in the Gulf of Aden, according to the U.S. military.

It was the Carney’s latest engagement with the Houthis, a militant group in Yemen who have launched attacks on shipping and naval vessels in the Middle East in retaliation for Israel’s military campaign against Hamas. The Houthis have focused the attacks on Israel-bound commercial vessels in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

The Houthis fired an anti-ship missile at the Carney, according to U.S. military officials.

“The missile was successfully shot down by USS Carney,” U.S. Central Command said in a statement. “There were no injuries or damage reported.”

The attack could lead to more airstrikes on the Houthis by a U.S.-led coalition that has vowed to protect international shipping vessels that pass by Yemen. The U.S. earlier this month reclassified the Houthis as a terrorist group.

“We will make sure that we respond to the Houthis if they continue this outrageous behavior, along with our allies,” President Joe Biden said during a news conference earlier this month.

The Houthis, a Shiite group, have been at war with the country’s Sunni majority for years and currently control the capital, Sanaa, under an informal cease-fire agreement. The Houthis are supported by Iran; two Navy SEALs earlier this month drowned during a raid on a ship carrying Iranian-made weapons bound for the Houthis, according to U.S. military officials.

The crew of the Carney last month shot down 17 Houthis drones in two attacks that targeted commercial shipping vessels, military officials said. In October, the crew over a nine-hour span shot down four missiles and 15 drones that appeared to be headed toward Israel, officials said. The crew was awarded military commendations for their efforts.

The USS Carney, commissioned in 1996, is named after Adm. Robert Carney.

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