The French Navy’s Languedoc frigate intercepted two drones fired from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen which were heading straight toward it on Saturday, the General Staff of the French Armed Forces said on Saturday night.
The two drones were launched from near Al Hudaydah, a port city controlled by the Iran-backed Houthis, before they were intercepted about 110 km from the coast, according to the Navy. The first drone was launched at the vessel at about 10:30 p.m. Israel time, while the second was launched at 12:30 a.m.
The Languedoc has been deployed in the Indian Ocean Maritime Zone since August and recently accompanied the US Navy’s USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carried through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf.
Earlier on Saturday, the spokesman for the Houthi’s military forces, Yahya Sare’e, threatened to attack any ship heading toward Israel, no matter which country the vessel belongs to.
“In order to ensure the safety of maritime navigation, we warn all ships and companies against dealing with Israeli ports,” said Sare’e.
Houthis escalate attacks on maritime traffic in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden
In recent weeks, the Houthis have escalated their attacks on civilian and military vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
On Wednesday, the Houthis said they launched ballistic missiles toward Eilat, with the IDF saying it intercepted a missile over the Red Sea. Additionally, the US Navy said it shot down a drone that was launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen.
A few days earlier, three commercial vessels came under attack in the southern Red Sea, with the Houthis saying they had conducted drone and missile attacks against two Israeli vessels. The IDF later said that the two ships were not connected to Israel.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) said at the time that four attacks had been conducted against three separate commercial vessels in the southern Red Sea. The three vessels are connected to 14 separate countries.
According to CENTCOM, the Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer USS CARNEY responded to distress calls issued by the ships and provided assistance. While responding to the calls, the Carney shot down a drone launched from Houthi controlled areas. While the drone was headed toward the Carney, its specific target is not clear. No damage was caused to the US vessel and no injuries were reported.
“These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security,” said CENTCOM at the time. “They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world. We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran. The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners.”