Israel shot down a ballistic missile fired from Yemen, U.S. officials say

Israel says that it took down the missile with its Arrow system and that Israeli fighter jets intercepted drones launched from the same direction.

Israel marks the 75th Independence Day, Tel Aviv - 26 Apr 2023

An Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jet above the beaches of Tel Aviv on April 26. Abir Sultan / EPA via Shutterstock file

Militants believed to be Houthi rebels fired a medium-range ballistic missile from Yemen toward Israel on Tuesday, according to two U.S. officials.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said the missile was intercepted by Israel’s Arrow air defense system, which was jointly developed by Israel and the U.S. The IDF confirmed that a surface-to-surface missile had been fired toward Israeli territory from the direction of the Red Sea, but not did specify whether it had originated in Yemen.

The U.S. officials said the missile, which had a range of 2,000 kilometers (about 1,240 miles) or more, did not threaten U.S. Navy ships in the Red Sea or U.S. troops or personnel in the area.

The USS Carney was in the northern Red Sea when it took out the missiles and more than a dozen drones.

Israel said Tuesday was the first time that the Arrow system had intercepted a missile since the war started earlier this month. The IDF added that Israeli fighter jets had been scrambled Tuesday morning to the Red Sea to intercept unspecified “aerial threats” outside of Israeli territory.

A military spokesperson for the Houthis, a group of Iran-backed Shia rebels in Yemen, said in a post on X on Tuesday that the Houthis “launched a large number of ballistic and winged missiles” at Israeli targets.

He wrote that the group “will continue to carry out more qualitative missile and drone attacks” until Israel’s “aggression” against Palestinians in Gaza ends.

Yemen is a little over 900 miles south of Israel with Saudi Arabia in the middle. The likely trajectory for a projectile launched from Yemen toward Israel would take it over parts of Saudi Arabia and then the Red Sea before arriving in Israel’s south.