2 drones fired at French warship from port held by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen shot down

2 drones fired at french warship from port held by iran-backed rebels in yemen shot down

French frigate FS Languedoc front, sails alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Mediterranean Sea, March 27, 2021. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sawyer Haskins

  • A French warship in the Red Sea took out two drones launched from a port in Yemen held by Houthi rebels.
  • The Houthi movement had warned that they would target all ships heading to Israel, regardless of their nationality.
  • The US has urged Israel not to escalate maritime warfare with the Houthis.

A French naval frigate, the Languedoc, successfully intercepted and destroyed two drones in the Red Sea on Saturday, according to reports.

The attack drones were detected heading toward the frigate after being fired from the coast of Yemen, from the port city of Hodeida that is held by rebel Houthis forces.

The French military’s general staff announced in a statement the destruction of the identified threats to the Languedoc, which operates in the Red Sea, per The Times of Israel.

The interceptions took place approximately 68 miles off the Yemeni coast.

The French navy said the drones were coming “straight toward” the Languedoc. The statement did not specify that the French navy considered the frigate to be the intended target of the drones.

The incident follows a recent threat by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who vowed to attack any vessels heading to Israeli ports. The threat, issued on Saturday, stated that the targeting of ships would occur irrespective of their ownership being linked to Israel.

The rebels demanded increased access to food and medicine in the Gaza Strip, escalating tensions in the region.

‘The weapons are being supplied by Iran’

2 drones fired at french warship from port held by iran-backed rebels in yemen shot down

Houthi fighters ride a military truck outside the Presidential Palace in Sanaa January 21, 2015. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

The Houthi rebels have previously launched ballistic missiles and drones at the southern port city of Eilat during the Israel-Hamas war, with all attempts either intercepted or missing their targets. Furthermore, the rebels seized a vehicle transport ship associated with Israel in the Red Sea in November, which remains under their control near Hodeida.

Expanding the scope of their targets, the Houthis have targeted ships they claim to have direct links to Israel. This development prompted a US destroyer to intercept three drones last week while assisting commercial vessels facing attacks from Yemen.

The Houthis have attacked and seized several ships linked to Israel as they traverse the Red Sea and its Bab al-Mandab strait, through which significant proportions of the world’s oil are shipped, Reuters reports.

The Biden administration has reportedly urged Israel not to respond to recent Houthi attacks, emphasizing the direct threat to maritime security.

However, Israeli National Security Council chairman Tzachi Hanegbi indicated that if the international community does not address the Houthis’ threat in Yemen, Israel will take action without specifying the measures to be undertaken.

The rebels have been accused of being armed, trained, and funded by Iran. Western militaries have intercepted attempts to smuggle weapons and materials between Iran and Yemen on numerous occasions.

The US asserts that because of this relationship, Tehran bears culpability for the ongoing attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

The Houthis are “the ones with their finger on the trigger,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said during a Monday press briefing. “But that gun — the weapons here are being supplied by Iran. And Iran, we believe, is the ultimate party responsible for this.”

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