For the second time in four days, a cruise missile has been fired at the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.
The missile fell into the sea short of the destroyer, which was in international waters in the Red Sea. No one was injured.
The coastal-defense cruise missile was fired today at the Mason from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen, south of Al Hudaydah, according to a U.S. official.
The Houthis are an Iranian-backed militia group that seized control of the government in Yemen in early-2015, a move that led to a military intervention in Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition.
The destroyer detected the incoming missile at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET).
The destroyer used countermeasures but it was unclear whether they caused the missile to fall into the sea or whether it fell into the water on its own, the official said.
The attack is similar to one Sunday when two missiles were fired at the Mason over the span of an hour from Houthi-controlled territory.
Countermeasures were used against the first missile though it’s unclear whether they are what led the missile to fall into the sea short of the destroyer. The second missile fell into the sea before countermeasures could be deployed.
The United States was weighing a possible military retaliation against the Houthis, a Pentagon spokesman said.
“We want, very much, to get to the bottom of what happened,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said. “We’re going to find out who did this, and we’ll take action accordingly.
“Any time anyone engages a U.S. Navy ship at sea in hostility they do so at great peril to themselves.”
Houthi militants two weeks ago attacked a transport ship belonging to the United Arab Emirates, one of the countries that has provided troops and support in Yemen against the Houthis.
The recent Houthi attacks are believed to be in response to a coalition airstrike this weekend in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa that killed more than 100 people attending the funeral of a Houthi leader.
That airstrike led the White House to announce it was reviewing its support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.