U.S. Navy destroyer attacked with missiles from Yemen again, second time in four days

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason conducts divisional tactic maneuvers as part of a Commander, Task Force 55, exercise in the Gulf of Oman September 10, 2016. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Blake Midnight)

The USS Mason was targeted with missiles from Yemen for the second time in four days on Wednesday.

While being accompanied by the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport dock, the USS Mason fired defensive salvos in response to the missiles that originated from territory controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.

Officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the missiles did not hit the ship or cause any damage, according to Reuters.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. is still investigating the incident on Sunday, including the exact location of the launches.

He added that “we will make sure that anybody who interferes with freedom of navigation or anybody who puts U.S. Navy ships at risk understands that they do so at their own peril,” but did not comment on whether the U.S. was developing targets for a possible retaliatory strike.

The rebels reportedly used small skiffs as spotters to help direct the missile attack on the warship.  Officials told Reuters they are also investigating the possibility that a radar station under Houthi control in Yemen might have also “painted” the USS Mason.

The incidents raise questions about the safety of military ships around the Bab al-Mandab Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

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