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Navy Sailors man their guns on the deck of the USS Laboon

LAS PALMAS, Spain – Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) man crew-served weapons as the ship departs Las Palmas, Spain, Dec. 5, 2023. Laboon is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by the U.S. 6th Fleet to defend U.S., Allied and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Elexia Morelos)

Tanker Hit After US Warship Downs ‘Inbound’ Drone

John Konrad
Total Views: 7685
December 23, 2023

by John Konrad (gCaptain) Action in the Red Sea has reignited. A report by US Central Command says the navy, operating as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian, successfully intercepted four unmanned aerial drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen that were “inbound to the USS Laboon.” Later an Indian-flagged oil tanker was hit but reported no injuries.

The precise intentions behind the drone launch towards the USS Laboon remain ambiguous. It is uncertain whether these inbound drones were deliberately targeting the warship or fired at nearby targets. In previous statements, the Department of Defense has carefully refrained from explicitly stating that any American ships were specific targets. However, this cautious approach in previous statements could be interpreted as a strategic effort to avoid escalating tensions, as suggested by some analysts.

These drones, launched from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, were inbound to the USS Laboon between 3 and 8 p.m. local time. The swift action of the Laboon, a guided-missile destroyer, averted potential harm with no reported injuries or damage.

Between 3 and 8 p.m. (Sanaa time), the destroyer was patrolling in the Southern Red Sea as part of Operation Prosperity Guardia and shot down four unmanned aerial drones originating from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen that were inbound to the USS LABOON. There were no injuries or damage in this incident.

Centcom release

Earlier the same day, two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles were fired into these international shipping lanes but missed their targets.

At around 8PM, the situation intensified when two commercial ships reported drone attacks. The M/V Blaamanen, a Norwegian-flagged tanker, narrowly escaped a drone strike, and the M/V Saibaba, an Indian-flagged oil tanker, was hit but reported no injuries. The USS Laboon responded promptly to these distress calls.

The U.K. Maritime Trade Operations agency reported earlier today that a ship has been attacked by a drone southwest of India. That attack caused an explosion and fire on an unidentified ship but no casualties were reported,

Also Read: Spain, Italy, France Decline US Command Of Red Sea Operation Prosperity Guardian

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