A satellite image shows the British-owned, Belize-flagged cargo ship Rubimare, which was attacked by the Houthis in the Red Sea (Reuters)

US Central Command announced that US aircraft and a coalition warship shot down 5 attack drones launched from areas belonging to the Houthi group in Yemen yesterday, Tuesday.

Central Command reported in a statement - today, Wednesday - that the marches posed an imminent threat to American commercial and military ships and coalition ships in the Red Sea.

For its part, the German army reported that its military frigate, as part of the European operation in the Red Sea, entered into a clash with two drones.

The German News Agency reported that it was the first time that a German frigate responded to a Houthi attack in the Red Sea.

As an expression of their solidarity with the Gaza Strip, which has been witnessing a devastating war since October 7, 2023, with American support, the Ansar Allah Houthi group carried out missile attacks and marches on cargo ships in the Red Sea, which are owned or managed by Israeli companies or transport goods from Israel or to her.

In response to the attacks, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced on December 18 an initiative to form a coalition of 10 countries under the name “Guardian of Prosperity,” with the aim of “deterring attacks in the Red Sea.”

Last January, the administration of President Joe Biden also listed the Houthi group as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organization.

Return of the Marine Rapid Reaction Force

According to CNN, citing Pentagon officials, the Eastern Mediterranean Naval Rapid Reaction Force is expected to return to the United States in the coming weeks.

The two officials indicated that the Bataan Amphibious Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are expected to begin leaving next March.

The two officials also confirmed that the departure of the Marine Rapid Reaction Force from the eastern Mediterranean constitutes a significant reduction of US forces in the region, noting that the Pentagon will still have the option to keep the group in the region if the situation requires it.

The Marine Rapid Reaction Force was deployed for the first time in July, and was sent to the Middle East region last October, and had previously been extended to remain in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Rapid Force was sent to the Mediterranean at the beginning of the Israeli aggression on Gaza because of its ability to carry out amphibious operations and some special operations, as well as training Marines to assist in evacuation operations.

As the war approaches its fifth month, the need to evacuate American citizens has not materialized, and the Ministry of Defense has refused to comment so far.

In a related context, members of the US Senate from both the Democratic and Republican parties on Tuesday questioned Biden's strategy in dealing with Houthi attacks on commercial ships, and stressed that he must obtain authorization from Congress for continued military action against the group.

It is noteworthy that the US Constitution gives Congress, and not the President, the right to authorize wars, but there are provisions in American law that give the White House the authority to carry out limited military action abroad.

The United States carries out almost daily strikes on the Houthis, who control the most densely populated areas in Yemen.

The strikes have not yet succeeded in stopping the Houthi attacks, which have disrupted global shipping traffic and increased the cost of shipping.

For their part, the Houthis confirmed yesterday, Tuesday, that they will not reconsider their attacks with missiles and marches in the Red Sea until after Israel ends its aggression in the Gaza Strip.

Source: Agencies