Last Monday, the USS Mason was passing through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. The ship was attacked again on Wednesday, and that night a separate US warship arrived and attacked several coastal radar sites, though the Pentagon later conceded they weren’t actually sure who fired the missiles.
Either way, the USS Mason is still hanging out off the coast of Yemen in the Red Sea, apparently long since having abandoned the idea of passing through, and was once again fired upon by missiles from shore, though as with the previous cases none of them hit. The Mason reportedly fired some missiles of its own, but apparently just as countermeasures.
It is unclear exactly how many missiles were involved this time, but it was apparently more than the last time, as not only the Mason, but also the USS Nitze and USS Ponce came under fire. The Nitze was the ship which attacked the radar sites earlier this week. It’s unclear what the Ponce, a transport ship for ground troops, is doing there, but it too has apparently been off the Yemeni coast for weeks.
The US has been participating in a Saudi-led war against Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthis for the past 18 months, though in the past week the US has started to be more critical of Saudi war crimes and has said it is “reviewing” cooperation. Pentagon officials have insisted their own attacks on Houthi radar stations are unrelated to the war they’re already participating in, however.