A spokeswoman for the US Defense Department said that drones shot down by a warship that was responding to attacks on merchant shipping were not targetting the destroyer.

And Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said the attacks by the Houthi government in Yemen are not a sign the war between Israel and Hamas is becoming a regional conflict.

Her comments came a day after US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, confirmed that missiles were fired at three vessels in the Red Sea from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.