U.S. warship shoots down three drones launched by Houthi rebels targeting commercial vessels in the Red Sea

In recent weeks, the Iranian-backed group hijacked a ship linked to Israel and launched rockets at U.S. vessels.

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed Sunday that Houthi rebels, backed by the Iranian regime, launched drone strikes against several commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

"Today, there were four attacks against three separate commercial vessels operating in international waters in the southern Red Sea," read a CENTCOM statement. "These three vessels are connected to 14 separate nations."

In recent weeks, the Iranian-backed group hijacked a ship linked to Israel and also launched missiles against U.S. ships.

CENTCOM accused Iran of supporting attacks launched by the Houthi rebels.

"These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security. They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world," CENTCOM stated. "We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran."

"The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners," the statement concluded.

The new attack could mark a serious escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Middle East, which are directly linked to the war between Israel and Hamas.

An American official told Fox News that USS Carney was in the southern Red Sea just as it shot down three Houthi drones heading in its direction, adding that the action was taken in self-defense.

The USS Carney is a missile destroyer that, in recent weeks, has shot down drones and cruise missiles launched by Houthi rebels.