Pentagon Vows Response as Yemen Missiles Miss Warship

US Officials Say They Think Yemen's Houthis Fired at Ship

Just a few days after an incident in which the USS Mason, passing through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait off Yemen believed it was fired at with a pair of missiles from Yemen, the Pentagon is reporting that the same ship, still roughly in the same place, was fired at again, though again the missiles didn’t hit them.

It is unclear why the USS Mason was still hanging out around the strait, when it passed through four days ago on its way into the Red Sea, though with Pentagon officials saying they intend to keep US warships there just to prove they have the freedom to operate off of Yemen, the idea may simply be for US warships to wander around the coasts of nations at war and then park as soon as they come under anything resembling fire.

The Pentagon is also vowing revenge, saying they will respond “at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.” It is not clear who fired the missiles, however Pentagon officials claim to have at least some circumstantial evidence suggesting it was Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi movement.

The Pentagon cited small boats in the water around the time of the missile fire as evidence that the Houthis might’ve sent boats out to spot for the attack, and also claimed it was “a possibility” that a radar station under Houthi control had painted the ship. Since the missiles didn’t hit, or apparently come particularly close, it’s not clear that a lot of advanced spotting happened, however, and the Houthis have denied involvement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.