by WorldTribune Staff, October 10, 2016
Iran-backed Houthi rebels fired two missiles at a U.S. Navy vessel off Yemen’s southern coast on Oct. 9.
The attempted strike on the guided missile destroyer USS Mason, which was first reported by Reuters, came just a week after a United Arab Emirates vessel came under attack from Houthis.
“Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said. “There were no injuries to our sailors and no damage to the ship.”
The Oct. 9 incident took place just north of the Bab al-Mandab strait off Yemen’s southern coast. The attack on the USS Mason began around 7 p.m. local time, when the ship detected two inbound missiles over a 60-minute period in the Red Sea, the U.S. military said.
A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the first missile triggered counter-measures from the USS Mason.
Davis stressed a continuing commitment to defend freedom of navigation and protect U.S. forces in the region.
“We will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our ships and our servicemembers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government announced a review of its support for the Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthis after a strike on mourners at a funeral in the capital Sanaa killed up to 140 people.
The attack on the U.S. vessel came on the same day that Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, a key Houthi ally, called for an escalation of attacks against Saudi Arabia, demanding “battle readiness at the fronts on the (Saudi) border”.