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By Ryan Pickrell
U.S. defense officials believe the U.S. Navy was the intended target of Monday’s bombing of a Saudi frigate in the Red Sea.
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels bombed a Saudi frigate, killing two Saudi sailors and injuring three others. The Houthi movement’s al-Masirah channel reported that the ship was hit by a guided missile. The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen contradicted that claim, asserting that the frigate was attacked by suicide bombers in boats.
American intelligence officials agree that the attack was carried out by suicide bombers, but they believe the Saudi frigate was not the desired target.
In the video of the attack, the narrator can be heard shouting, “Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to the Jews!”
Pentagon officials believe the attackers either mistook the Saudi frigate for an American warship or that this was preparation or practice for a future attack on the U.S. Navy, according to an exclusive report by Fox News.
The attack on the Saudi ship occurred where two U.S. warships came under attack last year.
Last October, Houthi rebels fired cruise missiles at U.S. ships, which were able to intercept the incoming missiles with SM-2 missiles. The U.S. responded by eliminating the radar sites used to launch the attacks with Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Defense officials told Fox that while they are concerned by the latest incident, they are certain that the U.S. Navy can defend itself against the rebels.
The U.S. has been supporting the Saudi air campaign against the rebel forces in Yemen since 2015.
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