London, Aden-The United States Department of Defense has said that the USS Mason destroyer and other U.S. ships have come under a missile attack for the third time in a week, with no casualties accounted for.
The Arleigh-Burke class destroyer that is located in the Red Sea has been targeted by Iran-backed Houthi missiles, a Navy’s top officer told Asharq Al-Awsat.
U.S. Navy Commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, added that anti-missile defense measures were taken, without revealing further details.
Evaluation is underway—no injury was reported, confirmed Ross. “We will continue to defend the freedom of international waters,” he said.
The Mason is positioned in the strait of Bab el-Mandeb along with the destroyer Nitze.
The channel is considered of strategic importance. The U.S. navy announced that it will continue ensuring its safety.
On Wednesday night, the Navy announced it had fired retaliatory ship-launched missiles from the Nitze and destroyed three radar sites in territory on the Yemeni coast controlled by Houthis.
For his part, a prominent Yemeni senior official reiterated high concerns and anxiety that the region will know no peace so long Houthi insurgents and Iran-aligned militias overrun Yemen.
Yemen Army Brigadier General Abedurrab Taheri told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the militias attacking the U.S. destroyer and targeting a civilian United Arab Emirates vessel delivering humanitarian aid to the war-torn country is evidence that the insurgency militiamen have no understanding of international conventions nor respect for humanitarian morals.
The incidents – along with the Oct. 1 strike on a vessel from the United Arab Emirates and the Oct. 12 failed strike on the U.S. Navy destroyer – add concerns to the safety of passage for military ships around the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.
“If the coup militias are not eliminated, the region will not know any peace, security or stability,” said Brig. Gen. Taheri.
“The situation demands a swift and decisive termination to this abomination, so that legitimacy is restored to Yemen,” he added.
The Mason and Nitze, the amphibious transport dock Ponce, were apparently targeted twice previously, first with a two-missile assault last weekend, then with a second pair of missiles earlier Wednesday. Navy officials have said the ships will continue to conduct routine operations in the region.
The Houthis, who are allied to Ali Abdullah Saleh, the predecessor of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, are majorly supported and armed by Iranian forces, and control most of Yemen’s north, including Sana’a.