The USS Mason was targeted by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen just north of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Houthi rebels fired two missiles, which failed to make contact with the ship. The US Navy stated that no sailors were injured in the attack. Reportedly, the Houthi-controlled SABA news agency of Yemen quoted an anonymous army official denying its forces fired on the USS Mason.

The failed missile attack comes within a week of the UAE auxiliary ship HSV-2 Swift being damaged in a similar type of attack.  The USS Mason, USS Nitze, and USS Ponce were sent to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait following the attack on the UAE ship.

The failed missile attack on the USS Mason began around 7 p.m. local time, when the ship detected two inbound missiles over a 60-minute period in the Red Sea off Yemen’s coast,” the U.S. 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 United States 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 weapons.

A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the first missile triggered counter-measures from the USS Mason. It was not immediately clear whether those defenses may have helped prevent a direct hit on the ship.

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