Mis­siles tar­get US war­ship

> But both missed ves­sel in wa­ters off Ye­men: Pen­tagon

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

SANAA: A US Navy guided mis­sile de­stroyer was tar­geted on Sun­day in a failed mis­sile at­tack from ter­ri­tory in Ye­men con­trolled by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, a US mil­i­tary spokesman told Reuters, say­ing nei­ther of the two mis­siles hit the ship.

The at­tempted strike on the USS Ma­son came just a week af­ter a United Arab Emi­rates ves­sel came un­der at­tack from Houthis and sug­gests grow­ing risks to the US mil­i­tary from Ye­men’s con­flict.

The US gov­ern­ment, which has be­come in­creas­ingly vo­cal about civil­ian ca­su­al­ties in the war, this week­end an­nounced a re­view of its sup­port to a Saudi Ara­bia-led coali­tion bat­tling the Houthis af­ter a strike on mourn­ers in the cap­i­tal Sanaa that killed up to 140 peo­ple.

The failed mis­sile at­tack on the USS Ma­son be­gan around 7pm, when the ship de­tected two in­bound mis­siles over a 60-minute pe­riod in the Red Sea off Ye­men’s coast, the US mil­i­tary said.

“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.”

Saudi Ara­bia and the US blame Shi’ite Iran for sup­ply­ing weapons to the Houthis.

Tehran views the Houthis, who are from a Shi’ite sect, as the le­git­i­mate au­thor­ity in Ye­men but de­nies it sup­plies them with arms.

A US de­fence of­fi­cial, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, said the first mis­sile trig­gered coun­ter­mea­sures from USS Ma­son. It was not im­me­di­ately clear whether those de­fences may have helped pre­vent a di­rect hit on the ship.

The USS Ma­son did not re­turn fire, the of­fi­cial said, adding the in­ci­dent took place just north of the Bab al-Mandab strait off Ye­men’s south­ern coast.

Last week’s at­tack on the UAE ves­sel also took place around the Bab al-Mandab strait, in what the UAE branded an “act of ter­ror­ism”.

In 2013, more than 3.4 mil­lion bar­rels of oil passed through the 20km-wide Bab al-Mandab each day, the US En­ergy In­for­ma­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion says.

It was un­clear what ac­tions the US mil­i­tary might take, but Davis stressed a com­mit­ment to de­fend free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion and pro­tect US forces.

“We will con­tinue to take all nec­es­sary steps to en­sure the safety of our ships and our ser­vice­men.”

The at­tack also came on the day Ye­men’s pow­er­ful former leader, Ali Ab­dul­lah Saleh, a key Houthi ally, called for an es­ca­la­tion of at­tacks against Saudi Ara­bia. – Reuters

A Haitian woman walks on de­bris in an area devastated by Matthew in Port-aPi­ment yes­ter­day.

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