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Missiles reportedly fired at Israel from Houthi rebels in Yemen, US warship intercepts in Red Sea

Several US forces in the region came under attack this week

The guided missile destroyer USS Carney (U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Apprentice Charles A. Ordoqui)

American military forces in the region have repeatedly come under attack this week, amid fears that Iran is trying to drag America into the war between Israel and Hamas.

The United States has increased its military presence in the Middle East since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas, which began with a brutal surprise invasion and assault by Hamas terrorists crossing into Israel from Gaza on Oct. 7.

The USS Carney on Thursday intercepted three cruise missiles fired from Yemen and headed for southern Israel, according to Israeli media reports.

In addition, the USS Carney, which was operating in the northern Red Sea at the time, was swarmed by about two dozen drones.

“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,” Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig.-Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Thursday during a press briefing.

On Friday morning, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari stressed that Israel would be prepared for such attacks in the future.

“Israel has some of the world’s best air defenses, and is prepared for threats like these,” Hagari said.

“This shows the defense capabilities of the US, and their ability to build a picture of the region,” he added, also noting the close relationship between the IDF and the US Central Command, whose commander General Erik Kurilla visited Israel earlier in the week.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have been supported and armed by the Iranian ayatollah regime for years in their war against the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.

The group is known to be virulently anti-Israel and antisemitic, with its members often repeating hateful rhetoric, such as "God Is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.”

In addition to the drone and missile attack on the USS Carney, multiple U.S. forces stationed in the region have come under attack by Iran-affiliated proxy groups this week.

“These small scale attacks are clearly concerning and dangerous,” said Brig.-Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman. 

This week alone, The Wall Street Journal reported that the American al-Tanf base near the Jordanian and Iraqi borders and the al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq were both attacked by drones.

In addition, U.S. and coalition forces at al-Harir base in northern Iraq were attacked and a pro-Palestinian militant group claimed to have attacked U.S. bases in Syria, as well.

The U.S. was looking at these attacks “individually,” Ryder stated, and not as part of a larger phenomenon.

Iran has used proxy forces to attack U.S. troops in the region at least since 2019 when militias began launching a series of rocket attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq.

In response, the U.S. eliminated Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior commander of an Iran-backed Iraqi militia, in January 2020.

Iran then went on to carry out drone and missile attacks in Saudi Arabia and against ships in the Gulf of Oman.

Since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine in early 2022, Iran has supplied Russia with Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, which it produces in large quantities.

In its support of Israel during the current war with Hamas, the U.S. transferred the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean region. A second carrier, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and its strike group left the U.S. and are currently on the way to the Mediterranean, as well.

The USS Bataan amphibious ready group, which consists of three ships carrying thousands of U.S. Marines, the USS Mesa Verde, an amphibious transport dock, and the USS Carter Hall, a dock landing ship, were heading closer to Israel, according to the Associated Press.

A small team of special operations forces is also working with Israel to help with intelligence and planning, as well as advising on hostage recovery efforts.

Five deliveries of military equipment and ammunition arriving from the U.S. have reached Israel so far, and more will follow, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

U.S. Air Force squadrons stationed around the Middle East have also been reinforced.

There are roughly 2,500 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and another 900 in Syria. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered about 2,000 soldiers to prepare for deployment if needed.

A Pentagon spokeswoman confirmed that those soldiers were not being deployed for combat but will assist with intelligence and surveillance, transportation and medical efforts.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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