U.S. Navy Ship Comes Under Fire Near Yemen
A United States Navy guided-missile destroyer came under fire on Sunday from coastal areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels, but the two missiles that were launched toward the ship fell harmlessly into the sea, the Pentagon said.
The episode was the first known instance in which the Houthis have fired upon an American vessel since Yemen’s civil war began in 2014.
The attack occurred a day after airstrikes on a funeral in Sana, the capital, killed more than 100 people, prompting the United States to say it would conduct “an immediate review” of its support for the Saudi-led coalition battling the rebels.
On Sunday evening, the destroyer Mason, while conducting routine operations in international waters, detected two missiles that were fired at the ship within a one-hour period, according to a statement from Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
Captain Davis said both missiles landed well shy of the ship — he would not say by how much — and caused no damage or injuries. The ship was operating in the southern end of the Red Sea, north of the Bab el Mandeb Strait.
“We assess the missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen,” Captain Davis said.
A Saudi-led Arab coalition has been fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen since March 2015.
The United States has provided refueling planes and some intelligence to the coalition, but it has not been directly involved in picking targets for coalition airstrikes, many of which have killed civilians.
The Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, are known to have a stockpile of various Soviet-era rockets and missiles.