In a 10-hour period on Tuesday, Houthi rebels in Yemen launched a series of drone and missile strikes towards Israel. However, their attack was intercepted by the USS Laboon and F/A-18 Super Hornets from the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. The U.S. Central Command reported that the strikes included twelve suicide drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles, and two land attack cruise missiles. Fortunately, no ships were damaged, and no injuries were reported.
This attack comes shortly after President Joe Biden authorized retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, following an attack on a U.S. airbase in Erbil that injured three American troops. The U.S. has reason to believe that these attacks, although launched by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, are supported by Iran.
The USS Laboon, along with the destroyers Carney and Mason, have been actively involved in intercepting drones in recent weeks and providing assistance to commercial vessels. Just a few days prior to this attack, the Laboon shot down four unmanned aerial vehicles in the Red Sea and responded to distress calls from two commercial vessels that came under attack.
To address the ongoing threat, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the creation of a multinational task force on December 18. This task force aims to protect civilian ships in the region.