Last Updated on October 19, 2023
An American warship intercepted three cruise missiles and multiple drones making their way over the Red Sea, reportedly bound for Israel after being fired off by Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen, on Thursday evening local time.
The USS Carney reportedly intercepted the cruise missiles and drones, striking them down with SM2 surface-to-air missiles. While early reports and social media posts suggested that an American ship had come under attack, the Pentagon says that no American sailors were injured and has publicly hypothesized that the payload was headed “toward targets in Israel.”
“We cannot say for certain what these missiles and drones were targeting, but they were launched from Yemen heading north along the Red Sea, potentially toward targets in Israel,” a Pentagon spokesman told the media.
Furthermore, according to a Reuters report, “A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it did not appear that the warship was the target,” implying that the missiles and drones were indeed en route to Israel.
If so, their American interception could mark the kick-off of a major ratcheting up of the nation’s involvement in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas – a conflict in which American special forces are already operating on the ground, and in which the United States government has rapidly mobilized to contribute aid to the Israeli cause, both militarily and otherwise.
The USS Carney, which is operating in the Red Sea to “help ensure maritime security and stability in regional waters,” is one of numerous American warships currently operating in the Middle East.
Following the most recent outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, Joe Biden ordered the USS Gerald Ford carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea and has also ordered Marines to move closer to Israel.
This week, Biden added another carrier strike group to the mix and ordered the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to the eastern Mediterranean as well.
As reported by National File, Biden has also ordered attack aircraft to the region, in what his administration says is meant to deter Iran, Hezbollah, and others from intervening in the conflict.
The rapid, large-scale deployments have drummed up major concerns that the United States is stumbling back to war in the Middle East, and has drawn massive criticism considering the border crisis facing America at home.
This story is developing. Stay with National File for updates as they become available.