A US warship patrolling the Red Sea intercepted multiple attack drones launched from Huthi-controlled areas in Yemen on Thursday, the US Central Command said. “On the morning (Yemen time) of November 23, the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) shot down multiple one-way attack drones launched from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen,” CENTCOM said on X, its official social media platform. The military didn’t elaborate on what the drones were. Still, Iran’s Houthis, which control Yemen, are part of an axis of resistance that includes Hezbollah, a Lebanese group supported by Iran, and Hamas. The Axis has been waging a deadly war on Israel and the United States since October 7, when Hamas militants breached Israeli defenses around Gaza, slaughtering more than 1,200 people and prompting an Israeli assault that has left more than 11,000 dead in Gaza alone.
CENTCOM said that the warship intercepted the drones after a warning from its electronic intelligence. The military has been on high alert for a possible conflict in the region in response to the Gaza conflagration. The Pentagon has deployed significant military assets to the area, including two aircraft carriers, extensive fighter jets, and a contingent of special operations troops.
It’s not the only sign of heightened tensions in the Middle East: Cyberattackers have attacked the CENTCOM Twitter account, calling for a global Islamic caliphate and urging American soldiers to “watch your back” against ISIS. The hacked feed was shut down shortly after it was launched, but not before the hackers posted images purporting to show confidential files containing US military personnel’s names and other details.
In a briefing this week, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks was asked about the impact of Israel’s shift from EUCOM to CENTCOM. While she didn’t provide a direct answer, she did emphasize that it would allow for more cohesive regional security coordination. A more pronounced impact will be on the battlefield: As Bilal Saab, director of the Defense and Security Program at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, points out, Israel has an incredible portfolio of capabilities, so having it report to CENTCOM will make intelligence sharing easier.
But the most significant consequence of Israel’s move may be less obvious and will occur behind the scenes. As Jonathan Lord, the director of the Middle East Security program at the Center for a New American Security, says, “Having Israel under CENTCOM gives you a single chain of command with the Israel-US ties. That’s important, especially during this war in Gaza.”