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Published: Thu, October 20, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Missiles fired at United States warship near Yemen, says US


Adm. John Richardson, the Navy's top officer, earlier said the destroyer USS Mason appeared "to have come under attack".

Initial reports on the latest incident, according to another USA defence official, said the crew detected multiple missiles being fired towards the Mason, which responded with onboard countermeasures to defend itself.

The USS Mason destroyer, which was sailing in worldwide waters off Yemen's coast earlier this week, used unspecified countermeasures against the incoming missiles, a military official said.

Multiple cruise missiles have been fired at a U.S. warship in the Red Sea - but there were no hits or casualties, a United States admiral and officials have said.

Earlier Saturday night, a second U.S. defense official said there were multiple incoming surface-to-surface missiles detected by the Mason. At least one missile was sacked, the officials said.

In the earlier attacks, three missiles fired at the USS Mason from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen all fell into the sea.

The strikes, authorized by Obama, marked the first time that the US has taken direct military action against Houthi targets during the Yemeni civil war. But it quoted the spokesman as saying that Oman mediated the release of the pair in order "to help the American government obtain the liberation of a number of Americans held in Yemen". The United Arab Emirates described the vessel as carrying humanitarian aid and having a crew of civilians, while the Houthis called the boat a warship.

Two American citizens held by Houthi rebels in Yemen have been released and flown to neighbouring Oman, the US State Department announced.

They also stressed that the American missile strikes were only in direct retaliation for the attacks on the ship and did not indicate that the USA was getting involved in the broader military conflict in Yemen.

Navy officials said the mysterious assaults won't deter ships from conducting operations in the region. The U.N. and rights groups estimate the conflict has killed at least 9,000 people and displaced almost 3 million more.

The bloody civil war has killed more than 6,000 people, injured more than 35,000 and forced at least three million to flee since military operations were launched past year.

The US, a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia, has provided air refuelling to fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition and also supplies weapons to the Gulf state.

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