More Missiles Fired At USS Mason From Houthi Rebel Territory In Yemen
The Strait of Mandeb is turning into a shooting gallery
Details remains scarce, but the Washington Post reports there has been yet another missile attack on the USS Mason. Thankfully the missile did not hit its target, though the report states that the ship did deploy ‘countermeasures’ during the engagement. This could have included the ship firing its own weapons, as well as expendable decoys and electronic attacks on the missile.
The US Navy's Arleigh Burke class destroyer has been patrolling the Southern tip of the Red Sea with two other US Navy vessels–a destroyer and one forward staging base–since shortly after the UAE-flagged high-speed logistics vessel HSV-2 Swift was destroyed by a missile attack. USS Mason and its flotilla were previously attacked on Sunday by a pair of anti-ship missiles, with the destroyer firing three surface-to-air missiles and an advanced decoy in self defense. Whether or not USS Mason's missiles and countermeasures actually downed missiles, or if they both crashed on their own accord, is still being investigated.
This latest attack is said to have come from the same Iranian-backed Houthi rebel-held territory on Yemen’s west coast as the missile attacks on Swift and USS Mason and companions. The Navy has already said that they are looking at retaliating following the failed attack, and are currently going through the targeting process in an effort to do so. Reuters reports that rebels are using small fast boats to help direct the attacks and the Pentagon is looking into the possibility that a radar station is being used by Houthi rebels to detect and target USS Mason and her companions for anti-ship missile attacks. If that is the case don't expect that station to be intact for long.
This follow-on attack points to the possibility that an entirely new strategy is in play in the region, one that could dramatically affect the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, as well as world trade. It's likely that Iran is supplying these missiles to Houthi rebels, and unlikely that the rebels are given a blank check when it comes to who to use them on and when.
UPDATE- 5:13PM PST: Two anti-ship missiles were involved in the attack today, just like on Sunday. They were fired at USS Ponce and USS Mason, the latter of which is providing protection for USS Ponce.
UPDATE- 10:45PM PST: US Navy has launched cruise missile attacks on Houthi controlled radar sites along the Yemeni coast. Full details in this new post.
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