One of the U.S. Navy ships stationed off the coast of Yemen, the USS Mason, has come under attack by Houthi insurgents, who have been supported and armed by Iran.
According to Reuters, the failed missile attack “began around 7 p.m. local time, when the ship detected two inbound missiles over a 60-minute period in the Red Sea off Yemen’s coast.”
“Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship. There were no injuries to our sailors and no damage to the ship,” said Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
Davis promised that the Pentagon would “continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our ships and our servicemembers.”
A U.S. defense official anonymously informed Reuters that USS Mason deployed countermeasures when the first missile was detected, possibly thwarting a successful strike on the ship but did not return fire.
The Mason was patrolling the same area where the Houthis fired on a vessel from the United Arab Emirates last week.
CBS News reports the Houthis and their allies “offered no reason for the launches, though they came after a Saudi-led airstrike targeting a funeral in Yemen’s capital killed more than 140 people and wounded 525 on Saturday.”
The White House swiftly condemned this Saudi airstrike.
“US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check. Even as we assist Saudi Arabia regarding the defense of their territorial integrity, we have and will continue to express our serious concerns about the conflict in Yemen and how it has been waged,” said U.S. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price, quoted by CNN.
“In light of this and other recent incidents, we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led coalition and are prepared to adjust our support so as to better align with US principles, values and interests, including achieving an immediate and durable end to Yemen’s tragic conflict,” Price added.
The Saudi-led coalition denied responsibility for the strike, insisting that its troops “have clear instructions not to target populated areas and to avoid civilians.”
CBS notes that Saudi state television aired footage of what appears to be a missile attack on Taif, the location of Saudi Arabia’s King Fahad Air Base, where American military trainers are stationed. The Houthis claimed this was a ballistic missile attack, using a local variant of the Soviet-era Scud missile, carried out by their forces against the Saudis.