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Houthis Fire Missiles at US Warship in Yemen

Written by Staff
Two missiles fired from rebel-held territory in Yemen landed near an American destroyer passing by in the Red Sea, the US Navy said on Monday.

While the Navy said the missiles, fired in a span of 60 minutes, landed in the water before reaching the USS Mason, the launches come after another Emirati ship suffered massive damage from a rocket attack days earlier.

Meanwhile, a ballistic missile launched from Yemen apparently targeted a Saudi airbase near Mecca, Saudi and rebel media reported — the deepest strike yet into the kingdom by Houthi rebels and their allies.

In a statement, the Navy said no American sailors were injured and no damage was done to the USS Mason, an Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyer whose home port is Norfolk, Virginia.

Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for US Navy Forces Central Command, said on Monday that it is unclear if the Mason was specifically targeted, though the missiles were fired in its direction.

Last week, a UAE-leased Swift boat came under rocket fire near the same area. The UAE described the vessel as carrying humanitarian aid and having a crew of civilians, while the Houthis called the boat a warship.

RELATED: UAE ship targeted in attack

Meanwhile, Saudi state television aired a brief clip of what appeared to be a projectile that was said to have landed in Taif in the ballistic missile attack. The video shows the flash of an explosion, followed by images of emergency vehicles. Taif is home to Saudi Arabia’s King Fahad Air Base, which hosts US military personnel training the kingdom’s armed forces.

The Saudi military said the missile fired late on Saturday night caused no damage. The US military’s Central Command, which oversees troops in the Middle East, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Al-Masirah, a satellite news channel run by the Houthi rebels, identified the missile as a local variant of a Soviet-era Scud missile. It said the Volcano-1 missile targeted the air base.

The Houthis have fired a series of ballistic missiles in Saudi Arabia since a kingdom-led coalition of Arab countries launched an offensive against them in Yemen in March 2015. Most of those ballistic missiles have hit areas far closer to Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, like an attack on Friday night that targeted the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait.

In the Taif attack, however, the missile struck a target more than 520km from the border. Taif also is just outside of Mecca.

The Saudi military also said it earlier intercepted another ballistic missile fired Sunday on the Yemeni city of Marib.

RELATED: Airstrike on Sanaa kills 140

The Houthis gave no reason for their targeting of Taif, but it comes after an airstrike Saturday targeting a funeral in Yemen capital, Sanaa, killed more than 140 people and wounded 525. On Sunday, thousands marched through the streets of Sanaa to protest the strike, one of the deadliest single attacks in the impoverished Arab country’s relentless civil war.

People inspect the aftermath of an on airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen. which Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 140 people
People inspect the aftermath of an on airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen. which Yemeni security and medical officials say at least 140 people

The Houthi’s blamed the Saudi-led coalition for the strike, which Saudi Arabia denied, saying it would launch an investigation.

Yemen’s war is largely overshadowed by the conflict against ISIS elsewhere in the Middle East, though rights groups have mounted increased criticism of the Saudi-led airstrikes in recent months for killing civilians.

The UN and rights groups estimate the conflict has killed at least 9,000 people and displaced nearly 3 million more.


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