This drone incident is the latest in a series of attacks on American troops stationed in the Middle East amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
As of Tuesday, the Pentagon reported a total of 56 attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria since October 17, resulting in 59 U.S. personnel injuries, including cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and non-serious injuries.
Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh shared this information with reporters, specifying that out of the 59 U.S. personnel injured, 32 had non-serious injuries, while the remaining 27 suffered from TBI.
🚨BREAKING NEWS🚨 🔸️Another attack on US forces. The USS Thomas Hudner shot down a drone from Yemen in the Red Sea. 🔸️Our enemies continue to test Joe Biden as the inept president genuflects to terrorists & refuses to hold them accountable. What's next? Another pallet of cash… pic.twitter.com/uBqpW8loKb
In a separate incident, last week, the Iranian-backed Houthis downed a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone near the Yemeni Coast. The drone was engaged in surveillance operations over Yemen when it was targeted by Houthi militia fire. The estimated cost of the equipment lost was around $30 million.
Following the drone’s downing, there has been no immediate U.S. response, but the Houthis have issued threats against Israeli ships operating in the Red Sea.
During a Pentagon news briefing on Tuesday, Jennifer Griffin from Fox News questioned Sabrina Singh about the absence of a U.S. military response to the Houthis’ downing of the MQ-9 drone in Yemen. Griffin asked whether the lack of response might encourage more aggressive actions by the Houthis.
In response, Singh stated, “I wouldn’t say that it’s inviting more aggressive or further response from the Houthis. We’ve seen the Houthis engage in such actions before. We’ve had one of our MQ-9s shot down in the past. I’m not saying that we won’t respond. We always reserve the right to respond at a time and place of our choosing.”
On the same day, the U.S. Department of Defense released two videos depicting airstrikes conducted by U.S. forces targeting Iranian proxy fighters in Syria. These airstrikes occurred on Sunday.
A senior U.S. defense official confirmed that the strikes resulted in the deaths of at least six Iranian proxy fighters at Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities in the Syrian cities of Abu Kamal and Maydin. The buildings targeted by U.S. forces included a safe house and a training facility. However, according to a senior defense source, the safe house also served as a headquarters.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin explained that these airstrikes were carried out “in response to continued attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria.”