Rockets fired from Yemen target US warship

Rockets fired from Yemen target US warship
The attack on a US warship by suspected Houthi rebels follows another similar attack on shipping off the Yemen coast earlier this month.
2 min read
10 October, 2016
No injuries to US personnel were reported from the attack [Getty]

A US Navy guided missile destroyer was targeted in a failed missile attack from an area of Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels, a US military spokesman told Reuters.

The failed attack comes only a week after a Emirati vessel was struck by suspected Houthis in the Bab al-Mandib strait.

Tensions have increased over the weekend following an alleged Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a funeral wake in Sanaa on Saturday resulting in 140 deaths with the anti-Houthi alliance supppoted by the US.

Following Saturday's massacre, the US announced it would review its military support to Riyadh amid concern of rapidly rising civilian death tolls in war-torn Yemen.

The attempted attack on the USS Mason, the US military said, occurred at 7pm local time on Sunday when the warship's radar picked up two inbound missiles during a one hour period in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen.

"Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said. "There were no injuries to our sailors and no damage to the ship."

Both Saudi Arabia and the US have previously accused Iran of supplying weapons to the Houthis whose anti-government forces have the support of army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

They ran the Saudi-backed government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa in September 2014, and following a civil war which intensified after Riyadh's intervention in the conflict.

The Bab al-Mandab Strait which is an important channel for shipping with around 3.4 million barrels of oil passing through the strait each day.

Recent attacks on shipping have raised concerns over trade in the area, and raised concerns that the US military and oil outflows from the Gulf could face growing risks from Yemen's conflict.

"We will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our ships and our service members," said Davis, commenting on developments.

An estimated 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen's war with Saudi-led coalition air raids responsible for around 60 percent of the 3,8000 civilian deaths.

Saturday's deadly strike on a funeral in Sanaa attended by prominent Houthi officials has raised concern of an escalation in conflict. Former President Saleh has since called for an escalation of attacks against Saudi Arabia.