The Navy destroyed several missiles and drones launched by Iran-backed Houthi militants in the Middle East over the last month, even with a pause in reported engagements that followed an historic escalation between Tehran and Israel.

Go here for Navy Times’ up-to-date tracker of incidents between the Navy and the Houthis.

Compared to months prior, the Navy reportedly engaged far fewer Houthi drones and missiles in April.

Still, intercepts continue, and this week, U.S. forces destroyed an aerial drone that U.S. Central Command — which oversees military operations in the region — said was on a flight path toward the Navy destroyer Laboon and the cruiser Philippine Sea. There were no injuries or damages reported.

As of publishing time, U.S. and coalition forces destroyed, or tracked the firing, or the intent to launch, at least 13 anti-ship ballistic missiles, two anti-ship missiles, two surface drones and 42 air drones in April that the Houthis launched or were prepared to fire, according to a tally of incidents announced by U.S. Central Command, as well as reporting by Military Times and The Associated Press.

While Houthi attacks were reportedly down, this past month still saw a rise in tensions in the region, with Iran launching its first direct strike against Israel. U.S. forces and allies destroyed dozens of aerial drones and at least six ballistic missiles headed for Israel, including a ballistic missile on its launcher vehicle, and seven air drones on the ground in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

CENTCOM also said around that the Houthis launched an anti-ship ballistic missile toward the Gulf of Aden and that U.S. forces destroyed four aerial drones in Yemen.

April also saw a week-long absence of Houthi attacks confirmed by CENTCOM, one of the longest pauses in incidents since their campaign of assaults against commercial and military ships began in the fall.

That lull ended when a warship in the U.S.-led coalition there shot down a missile April 24.

Also this month, the Houthi rebels claimed to shoot down another of the U.S. military’s MQ-9 Reaper drones, according to The Associated Press. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bryon McGarry, a Department of Defense spokesperson, told the outlet that an investigation was underway.

In remarks shared this week during his trip to the Middle East to cool tensions in the region, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Houthi attacks have not only threatened maritime security, but that they’ve undermined the lives of people throughout the area, including in Yemen.

“So this needs to stop, and we will be resolute in doing everything we can to put a stop to it,” he said.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

In Other News
Load More