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US Central Command Destroys Surface-to-Air Missile Launcher in Houthi-Controlled Areas of Yemen | World News

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WASHINGTON: Amid escalating tensions in the Red Sea, the US Central Command forces located and destroyed a surface-to-air missile launcher in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen at approximately 5 pm on February 19, the US Central Command said. It said that one additional anti-ship ballistic missile was launched at 6:40 pm. However, it did not affect any commercial or coalition ships.
In a statement shared on X, US Central Command stated, “February 19 and early morning February 20 Red Sea Update. Two anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) were launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward M/V Sea Champion, a Greek-flagged, US-owned grain carrier in the Gulf of Aden. Minor damage and no injuries were reported. The ship continued toward its scheduled destination to deliver grain to Aden, Yemen.”
“A surface to air missile launcher was located and destroyed by US CENTCOM forces in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen at approximately 5 pm One additional anti-ship ballistic missile was launched at 6:40 pm but did not impact any commercial or coalition ships,” it added.
According to US Central Command, a one-way attack (OWA) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) struck the M/V Navis Fortuna, a Marshall Islands-flagged, US-owned, bulk carrier, causing minor damage and no injuries. The ship continued its voyage towards Italy.
The US Central Command said that its forces destroyed an OWA UAV in Western Yemen, prepared to launch at ships in the Red Sea. Furthermore, US and coalition aircraft and warships shot down 10 OWA UAVs in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. In addition, USS Laboon (DDG 58) identified one anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) headed in its direction and shot it down.
In the statement posted on X, US Central Command stated, “The ship continued its voyage toward Italy. At 8:15 pm, US CENTCOM forces destroyed a OWA UAV in Western Yemen prepared to launch at ships in the Red Sea. Between 8 pm on February 19 and 12:30 am on February 20, US and coalition aircraft and warships shot down 10 OWA UAVs in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.”
“Additionally, at 12:30 am, February 20, USS Laboon (DDG 58) identified one anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) headed in its direction. USS Laboon subsequently shot down the ASCM. The OWA UAVs, the SAM system, and ASCM destroyed were identified by CENTCOM and determined to presented imminent threats to US Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region. These actions will protect navigational rights and freedoms and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels,” it added.
On February 17, the United States conducted five strikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Sunday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said. It said it struck three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned surface vessel, and one unmanned underwater vessel (UUV) on Saturday. The strikes were carried out between 3 pm and 8 pm (local time).
According to the US, the Houthi vessels presented an “imminent threat” to US Navy ships and these actions will protect freedom of navigation in the region.Notably, this is the first reported use of an unmanned underwater vessel by Houthis since the attacks began last October, as per US Central Command.
Taking to social media platform X, CENTCOM stated, “Between the hours of 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Sanaa time), February 17, CENTCOM successfully conducted five self-defense strikes against three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned underwater vessel (UUV), and one unmanned surface vessel (USV) in Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. This is the first observed Houthi employment of a UUV since attacks began in Oct. 23.”
“CENTCOM identified the anti-ship cruise missiles, unmanned underwater vessel, and the unmanned surface vessel in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to US Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region. These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy and merchant vessels,” it added.
The strikes have been carried out amid heightened tensions in the region, where Houthi fighters have carried out attacks on commercial and military shipping since November.

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