Late last week, U.S. military personnel defended against multiple drone attacks in Iraq, Syria, and the northern Red Sea. In western Iraq, U.S. forces confronted two drones, managing to destroy one and causing damage to the other, which resulted in minor injuries to Coalition forces. In a separate incident in northern Iraq, U.S. forces engaged and effectively destroyed a drone, with no reported injuries or damage. Ongoing assessments are being conducted to evaluate the operational implications of these encounters.
According to the press release from U.S. Central Command, “In this moment of heightened alert, we are vigilantly monitoring the situation in Iraq and the region. We want to emphasize U.S. forces will defend U.S. and Coalition forces against any threat.”
On Thursday, the Pentagon announced the crew aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Carney, while operating in the northern Red Sea, successfully intercepted and neutralized three land attack cruise missiles and multiple drones launched by Houthi forces in Yemen.
Pentagon Press Secretary, Air Force Brigadier General Pay Ryder stated, “This action was a demonstration of the integrated air and missile defense architecture that we built in the Middle East and that we are prepared to utilize whenever necessary to protect our partners and our interests. We cannot say for certain what these missiles and drones were targeting, but they were launched heading north along the Red Sea potentially towards targets in Israel,” General Ryder said.
Ryder provided information about drone attacks on U.S. facilities in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, two drones targeted the al-Tanf garrison on October 18. U.S. and coalition forces successfully intercepted and destroyed one drone while the other hit the base, causing minor injuries to coalition personnel, all of whom later returned to their duties. Additionally, early warning systems alerted to a potential threat at the al-Assad airbase, leading to personnel taking shelter. Although no attack occurred, a U.S. civilian contractor experienced a fatal cardiac episode while in the shelter.
Ryder said he will not detail what the American response to these provocations will be. “I will say that we will take all necessary actions to defend U.S. and coalition forces against any threat,” he said. “Any response, should one occur, will come at a time in a manner of our choosing.”
Ryder stated that the presence of U.S. forces in the region serves as a deterrent to prevent any government or group from launching attacks during the Israeli-Hamas conflict. Currently, the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is operating in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is en route across the Atlantic to join the Ford. Additionally, the Air Force has increased its fighter presence in the region.
Post Image- The USS Carney (DDG-64) transits the Suez Canal on Oct 18, 2023 (Image Credit: United States Navy)