On Saturday, the U.S. Navy destroyer Laboon successfully intercepted and shot down four unmanned aerial vehicles in the Red Sea, believed to have originated from Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, as reported by U.S. Central Command. This incident marks the latest in a series where U.S. warships in the Middle East have thwarted air drones and missiles. Just a week prior, the Navy destroyer Carney intercepted and neutralized 14 attack drones in the same region.

U.S. Central Command stated that the Laboon intercepted the drones while on patrol in the Southern Red Sea as part of a multinational security initiative aimed at protecting commercial ships. Fortunately, no injuries or damage occurred during the incident.

Following the drone interception, the Laboon responded to distress calls from two commercial vessels that came under attack on the same day. The M/V BLAAMANEN, a Norwegian-flagged chemical/oil tanker, reported a near miss with a Houthi one-way attack drone, while the M/V SAIBABA, a Gabon-owned, Indian-flagged crude oil tanker, reported being hit by a one-way attack drone. The Laboon promptly responded to these distress calls.

These attacks represent the 14th and 15th instances of Houthi militants targeting commercial shipping since October 17, according to CENTCOM. Additionally, two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles were fired into international shipping lanes in the Southern Red Sea on the same day, but no ships reported harm.

The Laboon, along with destroyers Carney and Mason, has been actively countering drones in recent weeks and providing assistance to commercial vessels amid heightened tensions in the region, stemming from the Israel-Hamas war.

Earlier this month, U.S. Central Command attributed these attacks to the Houthis in Yemen, asserting that Iran fully enables them. In response, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the creation of a multinational task force on December 18 to protect civilian ships in the region.

The Laboon is part of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s carrier strike group, which left Norfolk, Virginia, in October for its scheduled deployment. Last month, the carrier transited the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf.