(The Hill) — The U.S. on Wednesday shot down a drone launched from Yemen as it was headed toward a Navy destroyer, according to the Pentagon.
The USS Thomas Hudner, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, was transiting international waters around the Red Sea when the drone was spotted in the direction of the ship, the Defense Department said, and the naval crew shot it down.
There were no casualties and no damage to the U.S. naval ship.
The clash is the latest in the Middle East, where the U.S. has been fending off a series of attacks from Iranian-backed groups since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on Oct. 7.
Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said on Tuesday the U.S. has been attacked 55 times in the Middle East since October, with 27 attacks in Iraq and 28 in Syria.
U.S. positions have also clashed with the Iranian-backed Houthis at least three times in Yemen.
Last month, American forces shot down missiles they believe were headed toward Israel, while earlier this month the Houthis shot down a U.S. surveillance drone.
A total of 59 American troops have been injured in Iraq and Syria attacks, with all of them involving non-serious wounds.
The U.S. has carried out three retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed groups, with the latest on Sunday striking a training area and safe house in eastern Syria that was used by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Singh on Tuesday said the IRGC was operating in the area at the time of the strike but did not detail a casualty figure.
When asked if the strikes were working as a deterrence against attacks, Singh said the goal was to prevent a wider war from breaking out between Israel and Hamas.
“We’ve been pretty clear in our message when it comes to deterrence,” she said. “And we haven’t seen this conflict widen out.”