The United States is seeing growing indications that Iran-allied Houthi rebels, despite denials, were responsible for Sunday’s attack on a Navy destroyer off the Yemen coast, U.S. officials told Reuters.
The rebels appeared to use small skiffs as spotters to help direct a missile attack on the warship, said U.S. officials, who are not authorized to speak publicly because the investigation is ongoing.
The United States is also investigating the possibility that a radar station under Houthi control in Yemen might have also “painted” the USS Mason, something that would have helped the Iran-aligned fighters pass along coordinates for a strike, said the officials.
Neither of the two missiles fired from Houthi-controlled territory on Sunday hit the USS Mason or the nearby USS Ponce, an amphibious transport dock. But the incident threatens to trigger the first direct U.S. military action against Houthis in Yemen’s conflict, even if it is limited to one-off retaliation.