US downs missile fired from Yemen at American warship: Military

"The missile was shot down in the vicinity of the coast of Hodeida by US fighter aircraft," according to CENTCOM. "There were no injuries or damage reported."
Houthi fighters and tribesmen stage a rally against the U.S. and the U.K. strikes on Houthi-run military sites near Sanaa, Yemen.
Houthi fighters and tribesmen stage a rally against the U.S. and the U.K. strikes on Houthi-run military sites near Sanaa, Yemen. (Photo | AP)

The US military said Sunday its forces shot down a cruise missile fired at an American destroyer warship from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

The attack appears to be the first against a US destroyer amid a growing number of missile and drone strikes or attempted strikes by the Houthis, on what they deem Israeli-linked shipping on the key Red Sea trade route.

"On January 14 at approximately 4:45 p.m. (Sanaa time) an anti-ship cruise missile was fired from Iranian-backed Houthi militant areas of Yemen toward USS Laboon (DDG 58), which was operating in the Southern Red Sea," the United States Central Command said in a statement.

"The missile was shot down in the vicinity of the coast of Hodeida by US fighter aircraft," according to CENTCOM. "There were no injuries or damage reported."

The Houthis have said they are acting in solidarity with Gaza, where Hamas militants have been battling Israel for more than three months.

Houthi fighters and tribesmen stage a rally against the U.S. and the U.K. strikes on Houthi-run military sites near Sanaa, Yemen.
Yemen Houthi rebels fire missile at US warship in Red Sea in first attack after American-led strikes

Earlier the United States denied Yemeni rebel reports that it carried out new attacks Sunday on rebel targets in Yemen.

Houthi media said US and British strikes had hit rebel-held Hodeida, but a US defense official speaking on condition of anonymity said, "No US or coalition strike occurred today."

US and British forces on Friday said they hit scores of rebel targets across Yemen, heightening fears that Israel's war with Palestinian Hamas militants could engulf the region.

Late Friday the US military said it had conducted a "follow-on" strike against a Houthi radar site, following an initial barrage early Friday against rebel military facilities.

Around 12 per cent of global trade normally passes through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, the Red Sea entrance between southwest Yemen and Djibouti, but the rebel attacks have affected trade flows.

Washington last month announced a maritime security initiative, Operation Prosperity Guardian, to protect maritime traffic in the area. But the Houthis have kept up attacks despite several warnings.

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