Missiles fired from rebel-held Yemen target US navy ship

The US navy ship was targeted with two missiles fired from a Houthi-held area in Yemen, a day after more than 140 people were killed in an apparent Saudi-led air strike.

Photo by: AP (Archive)
Photo by: AP (Archive)

This is the first time when the Houthis have fired upon a US vessel since the civil war broke out in 2014.

Two ballistic missiles fired from a Houthi-held area in Yemen targeted a US warship passing by in the Red Sea on Sunday, the Pentagon said, but the missiles failed to hit the vessel.

The strikes came a day after an apparent Saudi-led air strike on a funeral killed more than 140 people and injured around 500 others in the country's capital Sanaa. The United States supports the Saudi-led coalition in its campaign against Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia has denied responsibility for the Saturday’s attack. (Reuters)

The USS Mason, a guided missile destroyer, conducts formation exercises with Navy patrol crafts. At the time of the incident, it was in international waters, north of the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.

Pentagon spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis said the attack began around 7pm local time. The crew detected two inbound missiles launched within 60 minutes of each other, but both of them impacted the water before reaching the vessel.

An estimated 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen’s war. (AP)

The civil war in Yemen broke out in September 2014 after Houthis captured the country's capital. In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition began its offensive against the rebels to restore the country's internationally recognised government.

Fighting has intensified since last August when peace talks sponsored by the United Nations ended without an agreement.

The Saudi-led coalition has been blamed for several attacks on medical centres, schools, factories and homes in the past 18 months.

The UN blames Saudi-led coalition strikes for 60 per cent of some 3,800 civilian deaths since they began in 2015. (AP File Photo, September)

Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an international investigation into possible war crimes committed in Yemen on Monday. He said the Saturday's tragedy showed that violations continued to go unpunished.

The countries belonging to the UN Human Rights Council had contributed to a climate of impunity in the country by failing to investigate adequately, he added.

Last month, the council declined to set up an inquiry into abuses in Yemen.

TRTWorld and agencies