The Pentagon has said a US Navy warship on Thursday intercepted three missiles that had been fired by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
It said the missiles which were heading north may have been aimed at Israel.
US officials said the USS Carney, a Navy destroyer, was in the Red Sea and intercepted the three missiles.
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters three land attack cruise missiles and several drones were launched by Houthi forces in Yemen. He said they were shot down over the water.
“We cannot say for certain what these missiles and drones were targeting, but they were launched from Yemen heading north along the Red Sea, potentially toward targets in Israel,” Ryder said in a Pentagon briefing.
Ryder said the missiles were shot down because they “posed a potential threat” based on their flight profile, adding that the US is prepared to do whatever is needed “to protect our partners and our interests in this important region.” He said the US was still assessing what the target was.
Israel’s Channel 13 news cited anonymous Israeli assessments that Israel was the target.
Unnamed Israeli officials told Army Radio and the Walla news site that the missiles were fired in the direction of the Jewish state.
Houthi rebels have expressed support for the Palestinians and threatened Israel amid the Israel-Hamas war. The Iranian-backed group’s slogan is “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam.”
Iran has warned repeatedly that Israel could face wider threats if it does not halt its war against Gazan terrorists, launched after Hamas’s October 7 terrorist rampage through southern Israel, in which 1,400 Israelis were killed.
Houthi Shiite fighters wearing army uniforms ride on a pickup truck as they guard a street during a demonstration in Sanaa, Yemen, January 23, 2015. Their sign reads ‘death to Israel, cursed be the Jews’ (AP/Hani Mohammed)
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Tuesday that “if the crimes of the Zionist regime continue, Muslims and resistance forces will become impatient, and no one can stop them.”