PENTAGON - A U.S. Navy destroyer was again targeted in a failed missile attack from territory in Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, officials tell VOA.
The missile fired in the Red Sea Wednesday targeted the destroyer USS Mason, which was accompanied by the amphibious docking vessel USS San Antonio at the time. The rocket failed to reach the ships, a U.S. official who asked not to be identified told VOA.
The destroyer deployed countermeasures once it detected the missile launch, another U.S. official said, but it was unclear whether that defensive action drew the missile off course, or if it fell into the Red Sea for other reasons. Officials confirmed no one aboard the destroyer was injured, and that there was no damage to the ship.
The missile launch, the second in the past four days, was from a Houthi-controlled area south of Al Hudaydah, officials said.
A U.S. official told VOA the latest attack has raised an “added sense of urgency to respond.”
The Pentagon hinted about possible retaliatory strikes on Tuesday, with Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis saying that anyone who fired on U.S. Navy ships in international waters was doing so “at their own peril.”
The Houthi movement in Yemen has denied any involvement in the first attack on the USS Mason, a few days ago.
Wednesday was the 16th anniversary of a terrorist attack in Yemen that killed 17 American sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole in Aden harbor. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for that attack in 2000, and U.S. courts subsequently held the government of Sudan responsible; more than $13 million in frozen Sudanese assets was released for compensation payments to relatives of the victims.