Two missiles fired from rebel-held territory in Yemen landed near an American destroyer passing by in the Red Sea, the US Navy said on Monday, the second-such launch targeting ships in the crucial international waterway in recent days. The missile launches Sunday came as a ballistic missile fired from Yemen apparently targeted a Saudi air base near the Muslim holy city of Mecca, the deepest strike yet into the kingdom by Shiite rebels and their allies, the AP reports. Yemen's Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies offered no reason for the launches, though they came after a Saudi-led airstrike targeting a funeral in Yemen's capital killed over 140 people and wounded 525 on Saturday. In a statement, the Navy said no American sailors were injured and no damage was done to the USS Mason, an Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyer whose home port is Norfolk, Va.
Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for US Navy Forces Central Command, said Monday it's unclear if the USS Mason was specifically targeted, though the missiles were fired in its direction over an hour, starting at around 7pm. An American defense official said the USS Mason used onboard defensive measures after the first missile was fired, but it wasn't clear if that caused the missile to splash harmlessly into the sea. The destroyer at the time of the missile fire was north of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which serves as a gateway for oil tankers headed to Europe through the Suez Canal, the official said. Last week, an Emirati-leased Swift boat came under rocket fire near the same area and sustained serious damage. The United Arab Emirates described the vessel as carrying humanitarian aid and having a crew of civilians, while the Houthis called the boat a warship. (Read more Yemen stories.)