Missiles from Yemen hit near US destroyer | News | DW | 10.10.2016
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Missiles from Yemen hit near US destroyer

The US has said two missiles that fell short of a Red Sea warship were likely fired from Houthi-held positions in Yemen. In a separate attack, a projectile from Yemen targeted a Saudi air base near Mecca.

The missiles were launched in the direction of the USS Mason while the destroyer was "conducting routine operations in international waters," the US Navy said on Monday. The ship was located north of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which serves as an entry point for oil tankers to head to Europe through the Suez Canal.

US Navy spokeswoman Paula Dunn said, "there were no injuries to our sailors," adding that there was no damage to the vessel. The ship's crew reported that the missiles were fired about an hour apart on Sunday afternoon.

"Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship,"  Dunn said. "We assess these missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen."

However, the Houthi rebels said they "did not target any warships," and rejected the reports as "unfounded."

Saudis under fire for funeral bombing

The apparent attack comes only days after the rebels claimed responsibility for firing rockets and damaging an Emirati vessel in the same waters. While the United Arab Emirates claim the boat was carrying humanitarian aid, the Houthis described it as a warship.

The tensions in the region have risen sharply since Saturday, however, when an air raid killed at least 140 people  at a funeral of a Houthi leader. The rebels blamed the Saudi air force for the bombing.

Riyadh initially denied any responsibility, but later expressed regret over the "reported attack" to the UN Security Council and promised to investigate the matter. The deadly incident is also an embarrassment for the US, which supports Saudi-led military operations in Yemen.

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Rockets hit outside of Mecca

Meanwhile, Houthi officials called on their tribal leaders to mobilize and "join the frontlines for revenge" against the Saudis. Several projectiles from Yemen have since hit Saudi territory.

Most notably, a rocket apparently targeted an air base in Taif, some 520 kilometers (325 miles) from the Yemeni border. The missile was intercepted in mid-air and caused no damage, the Saudi army said.

The base hosts US troops training the kingdom's armed forces, and is located just outside the holy site of Mecca.

dj/bw (AP, AFP)


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