U.S. forces recently struck an unmanned underwater drone amid a busy few days in the Middle East, marking the first observed employment of an underwater drone by the Houthi militants since they began their attacks in October, according to U.S. Central Command.

The Department of Defense also acknowledged that an American MQ-9 Reaper drone went down on Monday in the Red Sea off the coast of Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.

“Initial indications are that it was shot down by a Houthi surface-to-air missile,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said Tuesday during a press briefing, adding that at that time it had not been recovered.

The Navy and coalition partners remain engaged with Houthi militants as the group continues to launch attacks against military and commercial vessels in the region.

The Houthis shot down another MQ-9 in November, according to The Associated Press.

Over the last few days, U.S. forces struck a number of anti-ship cruise missiles, mobile unmanned surface vessels and one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicles launched by the militant group from Yemen, as well as the unmanned underwater vessel, which CENTCOM said was taken out on February 17.

Early Tuesday morning, the Navy destroyer Laboon identified an anti-ship cruise missile headed in its direction, which it subsequently shot down. That marks at least nine confirmed incidents the Laboon has participated in.

Some of the recent attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis have involved U.S.-owned commercial ships, which experienced minor damages. CENTCOM admonished the Houthis for such attacks, noting that they have exacerbated already high levels of humanitarian need in Yemen.

Earlier this month, a Defense Intelligence Agency report confirmed that Houthi forces have employed various missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles from Iran in their regional attacks.

Please review this tracker report for up-to-date information regarding the ongoing series of engagements between the U.S. Navy and the Houthis.

Military Times’ Pentagon bureau chief Meghann Myers contributed to this story.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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