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Pentagon Threatens Retaliation for Failed Missile Attack on US Ships in Red Sea

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) conducts formation exercises with the Cyclone-class patrol crafts USS Tempest (PC 2) and USS Squall (PC 7) in the Arabian Sea, Sept. 10, 2016.

The Pentagon said it is evaluating a military response to failed missile attacks on U.S. naval ships in the Red Sea, warning Tuesday that nearby Yemen-based Houthi rebels thought responsible launched the missiles "at their own peril."

Officials say the two missiles, launched over a one-hour period, missed their targets - the USS Mason and the USS Ponce-- and landed harmlessly in the water Sunday. Authorities said the guided missile destroyer Mason used electronic countermeasures to foil the first attack, while the second missile targeting the amphibious assault ship Ponce failed on its own.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis confirmed to reporters Tuesday that the missiles came from Yemen territory controlled by Houthi fighters, who are seeking to topple the internationally recognized government of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

Davis stopped short of directly linking the attacks to Iran-backed Houthis, but noted that the Silkworm anti-ship missiles believed used in the attacks are an active part of Iran's missile arsenal. He said that the U.S. will find out who fired the missiles and will "take action accordingly."

"It's no secret that Iran has been actively supplying [rebels] and giving them tools of war," Davis said.

The U.S. military has been providing intelligence and logistics to Saudi-led coalition warplanes who began targeting Houthi positions inside Yemen earlier this year.

Some material for this report came from AP and AFP.