Houthis strike US Navy ship off the coast of Yemen
A file image released by the US Navy shows a guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) conducting formation exercises with the Cyclone-class patrol crafts USS Tempest (PC 2) and USS Squall (PC 7) on September 10, 2016. (AFP/Navy Visual News Service)
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A US Navy destroyer has reportedly come under fire from Houthi rebels in Yemen, in the third such incident in a week.
"The [USS] Mason once again appears to have come under attack in the Red Sea, again from coastal defence cruise missiles fired from the coast of Yemen," Navy Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, told reporters at an event in Baltimore, broadcaster NBC News said.
Richardson said the ship had deployed countermeasures in the incident, which occurred late Saturday or early Sunday local time, and had not been struck.
The US launched retaliatory strikes against three radar stations in Houthi-controlled areas earlier this week after the ship was twice targeted by missiles apparently fired by the rebels.
The rebels have denied the attacks.
The bombardment was the first known to have been carried out by the US against Houthi targets in Yemen since Washington's ally, Saudi Arabia, started an air campaign against the Iran-allied rebels in March 2015.
The mainly Shia Houthis are currently battling loyalists of the Gulf-backed President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi for control of Yemen.
News of the attack on the destroyer came hours after the US State Department confirmed that two US hostages had been released by Houthi rebels and been flown to Oman.
Spokesman Mark Toner thanked Yemen's neighbour for mediating the unidentified hostages' release and acknowledged the Houthis' "humanitarian gesture."
According to the UN, 6,500 Yemenis had been killed by June 2016 since Saudi Arabia launched its bombing campaign.
Millions more are suffering serious food and water shortages and a cholera outbreak has also been confirmed in the capital Sana'a.