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US destroyer shoots down cruise missiles by Iran-backed Houthis

Iran-backed factions appeared to break several months of detente with US forces in the Middle East this week by launching drone and missile attacks in the Red Sea, Iraq and Syria amid Israel's war in Gaza, throwing the Pentagon's deterrence efforts into question.
In this handout image released by the South Korean Defense Ministry, South Korean Navy's destroyer Yulgok Yi I (C), U.S. Navy's USS Benfold (R) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's JS Atago (L) sail in formation during a joint naval exercise in international waters on April 17, 2023 at an undisclosed location. South Korea, the United States and Japan held a trilateral missile defense exercise in the international waters on Monday, Seoul's Navy said, amid stepped-up efforts to sharpen deterrence against N

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon confirmed on Thursday that the Navy destroyer USS Carney shot down three land-attack cruise missiles and several drones fired by the Iran-backed Houthi militant group in Yemen. There were no casualties to US forces or to any civilians, the Pentagon said.

The missiles “were launched from Yemen heading north along the Red Sea, potentially towards targets in Israel,” Pentagon press secretary Pat Ryder told reporters.

The shoot-down marks the first major US military response to what appeared to be a coordinated escalation by suspected Iran-backed militias as Washington seeks to contain the fallout from Israel’s war in Gaza.

Saudi Arabia also shot down one of the drones launched by the Houthis, Israeli media reported.

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