USS Mason (DDG-87) shot down an anti-ship missile and a drone fired by the Houthis Thursday, U.S. Central Command announced via X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.
This is the 22nd attack on international shipping, according to Central Command, although the X post did not say which ship was targeted. Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sare’e has not mentioned an attack on ships on Dec. 28 nor has Saba, the Yemeni state-run media site.
There were 18 ships in the southern Red Sea between 5:45 and 6:10 p.m. local time, during which Mason shot down the drone and missile. It is not clear how many of the ships were commercial or military.
Mason, along with USS Thomas Hudner and USS Carney, has shot down a number of Houthi-fired drones and missiles. Mason was the first U.S. ship to shoot down Houthi weapons back in October when it used SM-2s to take down Houthi-fired land-attack missiles and a number of drones, USNI News reported at the time.
The guided-missile destroyer shot down a drone on Dec. 14 while responding to a distress signal from Maersk Gibraltar, which Houthi forces attempted to board before launching missiles at it. As a result, Maersk temporarily paused shipping in the Red Sea.
Mason also responded to a distress call from M/V Central Park, a merchant ship attacked by Somali pirates. Mason picked up the pirates as they were headed toward Yemen. As of the latest information from the Department of Defense, the five alleged pirates are being held on the destroyer.