An American warship opened fire on a drone that was heading toward it from Yemen, a US defense official said Wednesday. The official did not specify who launched the aircraft, but Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels have claimed responsibility for a series of recent drone and missile attacks during Israel’s war against Hamas. The USS Thomas Hudner guided missile destroyer “engaged a drone that originated from Yemen and was heading in the direction of the ship,” the defense official said. The incident comes after the US Navy shot down multiple missiles and drones last month that it said were fired by the Huthis, who are opposed to government forces in Yemen and are also part of the “axis of resistance” of groups arrayed against Israel. Hamas carried out a shock cross-border attack from Gaza on October 7 that Israeli officials say killed about 1,200 people, setting off the latest round of devastating conflict between the two sides. Israel responded with a relentless air, land and naval assault on Hamas-controlled Gaza that the territory’s health ministry says has killed more than 11,300 people. Those deaths have sparked widespread anger in the Middle East and provided an impetus for attacks against both American troops in the region as well as Israel. Yemen’s Huthis said last week that they shot down an MQ-9 drone that was spying as part of Washington’s support for Israel, while American forces in Iraq and Syria have faced dozens of rocket and drone attacks in recent weeks that US officials have blamed on Iran-backed groups.