U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced the interception of the "multiple one-way attack drones" on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 22, noting that this is the second time that the Thomas Hudner was able to shoot down drones launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen, with the first incident being on Nov. 15. (Related: Yemen's Houthi rebels join war against Israel to protect Palestinians in Gaza.)
The Thomas Hudner shot down the attack drones on Wednesday while on patrol in the Red Sea as part of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, most of which is currently deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean as part of the U.S. Armed Forces' response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.
CENTCOM's statement regarding the intercept incident was very brief, only adding that neither the ship nor the crew sustained any damage or injury from the interception. It also remains unclear if the attack drones were targeting the Thomas Hudner or, like previous Houthi drone strikes, if the drones were heading for southern Israel.
The Houthis have been participating in the conflict between Israel and Gaza since late October, when it first launched a barrage of missiles and drones for southern Israel. Since then, the Houthis have announced themselves to be part of an "axis of resistance"
On the same day that the Thomas Hudner intercepted the attack drones, Israel announced that it had thwarted several cruise missiles heading for the country's south. These cruise missiles were reportedly heading toward different military targets. Houthi leadership later claimed responsibility for this attempted cruise missile strike.
A Houthi spokesperson later claimed that the rebel group will continue carrying out military operations against Israel until Israeli violence against the people of Palestine in both Gaza and the West Bank ceases. The Houthis have even vowed to continue attacking any ship that passes through the Red Sea and is in any way affiliated with Israel.
On Sunday, Nov. 19, the Houthis captured the Galaxy Leader, an Israel-linked cargo ship, and have taken the ship's 25 international crewmembers hostage. The Israeli military described this seizure as a "very grave incident of global consequence." A U.S. military spokesperson said it was a "flagrant violation of international law."
The Houthis' vow to continue participating in the conflict comes as the Department of Defense announces how U.S. forces deployed in the region have been attacked 66 times since Oct. 17. During this time, more than 60 U.S. military personnel have been injured by these attacks, including several very serious injuries.
The U.S. has since retaliated, including conducting a targeted strike on alleged weapons facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed groups and several other strikes on positions held by Hezbollah-aligned militias just south of Baghdad in Iraq.
Watch this video featuring footage of the Houthis' recent operation to seize a cargo ship linked to an Israeli corporation.