US Says Warship Intercepted Houthi Missile, Merchant Vessel Untouched

May 16, 2024

The U.S. navy's destroyer the USS Mason intercepted an inbound Houthi anti-ship missile over the Red Sea on Monday, U.S. Central Command said in a statement, after Yemen's Houthis said on Wednesday that they had targeted the warship.

The U.S. forces also destroyed two drones, Central Command said.

USS Mason (DDG-87) (Photo: Chris Krucke / U.S. Navy)
USS Mason (DDG-87) (Photo: Chris Krucke / U.S. Navy)

On Wednesday the Houthis said they had also targeted a vessel called "Destiny" in the Red Sea, as part of a campaign of attacks the Iran-backed group says it is carrying out in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.

A U.S. official told Reuters there was no evidence of an attack on Destiny in recent days. "Our reporting indicates that the vessel and crew are safe, with no issues," he said on Thursday.

In a televised speech, the Houthis' military spokesman Yahya Sarea had said they had targeted the USS Mason in the Red Sea with a number of "appropriate naval missiles".

Sarea said they had also targeted Destiny because it had been en route for the Israeli port of Eilat on April 20.

Sarea did not specify the dates when the two ships were targeted.

Reuters could not independently verify the Houthis' claim of having attacked the two vessels.

Months of Houthi action in the Red Sea have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa, and stoked fears that the Israel-Hamas war could destabilise the wider Middle East.

The United States and Britain have carried out strikes against Houthi targets in response to the attacks on shipping.

(Reuters - Reporting by Jana Choukeir and Andrew Mills; Editing by Gareth Jones and Hugh Lawson)

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