he French Aquitaine-class frigate FS Languedoc (D653), front, sails alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Mediterranean Sea, March 27, 2021.

French Navy Thwarts Houthi Drone Threat Near Yemen Coast

Sunday, 12/10/2023

The French Navy's Languedoc frigate intercepted two drones launched from the Houthi-controlled territories in Yemen, following a threat by the Iran-backed group to attack ships destined for Israel.

As confirmed by the General Staff of the French Armed Forces on Saturday night, the interception occurred approximately 110 km off the coast of Hudaydah, a port city under Houthi control and supported by Iran.

The Languedoc, stationed in the Indian Ocean Maritime Zone since August, recently played a crucial role in escorting the US Navy's USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier through the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf.

The drone launch follows increased tensions in the region, with Yemen's Houthis carrying out multiple drone and missile attacks against US and Israeli targets since Hamas's offensive on Israel in October. The Houthi attacks come in response to Iran's leader Ali Khamenei's call to ban the shipment of oil and food to Israel. While Iran has not directly participated in the Israel-Hamas war, it has utilized proxy groups like the Houthis and Hezbollah to target Israel and American interests.

On Saturday, Yahya Saree, the spokesperson for the Houthi's military forces, issued a warning, threatening to attack any ship approaching Israel, regardless of its nationality. Saree urged all ships and companies to avoid dealing with Israeli ports for the safety of maritime navigation.

Recent weeks have witnessed an escalation in Houthi attacks on civilian and military vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, including the firing of ballistic missiles toward Eilat, intercepted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The US Navy also reported successfully intercepting a drone from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen.

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